In a virtual presser on Monday, Philippine Navy (PN) chief Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo reiterated that they are ready to protect Filipino ships that would conduct oil exploration and survey the West Philippine Sea (WPS).
“I cannot predict what will happen next, but I (would like) to inform you that the PN is ready to protect our vessels conducting oil exploration or conducting surveys in our areas, in our areas within the 200-nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone, within the 350-nautical mile Extended Continental Shelf in the Benham Rise,” said Bacordo, adding that protecting such initiatives is “part and parcel” of the PN’s task to protect the country’s waters.
When asked how the PN plans to protect oil explorations and surveying teams authorized by the Department of Energy, the PN chief said this would be done by conducting “continuous EEZ patrols” and “continuous conduct of maritime and air patrols.”
Aside from this, this can be done by the ongoing improvements of facilities in the WPS so that the PN can be more efficient in monitoring and in its response time to vessels conducting these explorations.
“We will be prepared for whatever contingencies,” Bacordo said.