NAVY 2020: Sailing on Track?

We join the Philippine Navy in celebrating its 119th Founding Anniversary in May this year and convey our warmest congratulations for being an active partner in the maritime community and an instrument of peace, progress and stability. With its well-conceived plan of governance but still faced with inadequate resources we are tempted to ask the question: Is it on track…


Is it time to create a Department for Maritime Affairs?

During the 120th Maritime Forum held at the Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific where we were once again awed by the progress and development of that excellent institution founded by AMOSUP Chairman Capt Greg Oca and nurtured by its President, VADM Eduardo Ma R Santos, I asked the Forum to remember former Senator Leticia R Shahani, likewise an…


A Rich Bank Without A Security Fence

Dear Editor, May I share with you my op-ed that appeared in BusinessWorld. It is about building credible deterrence to bring up our country to a state of readiness like all other self-respecting states that zealously protect their people and resources from a world fraught with risks and threats. —Rafael Alunan III The Philippines is like an extremely rich bank…


Understanding the Language of the Law of the Sea

With the disputes concerning the West Philippine Sea in the South China Sea and recently, the issues surrounding Benham Rise, we see how the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea or the Law of the Sea Convention (LOSC)1 affects the maritime entitlements of the Philippines. It is indeed imperative for the Philippine state, a maritime nation, to…


Mining, Destabilization, Benham – DON’T PANIC

PART I “DUTERTE:  ‘MINING FIRMS FUNDING DESTABILIZATION PLOT.’ President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday accused some mining firms of financing what he called a ‘destabilization’ plot against his Administration.” Manila Times, 14-March-2017 During a presscon in Malacañang with Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on 13-March-2017, President Rody Duterte said mining firms were funding the political opposition…


Perspectives on Naval Cooperation in Southeast Asia

The Southeast Asian region is situated in a unique strategic environment that is shaped by the Pacific maritime domain. It is home to maritime nations sitting astride vital sea lines of communication and trade in the Asia-Pacific, with vast water resources and minerals, and oil and gas reserves. Shipping traffic through Southeast Asia is several times greater than the traffic…


World’s Biggest Ever Maritime Drone Contract

Martek Marine (Martek) has been awarded a ground breaking 2-year Remotely Piloted Aircraft Services (RPAS) contract from the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA). The services offered will fulfil part of the world’s largest ever maritime drone contract. Part of a five-year EMSA strategy of improving coast guard monitoring and surveillance of maritime activity valued at EUR 67 million, the service…



Naval Bases for New Sea Frontier

Five years ago, the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf adopted in its entirety the Philippine submission to extend the country’s seabed boundary in the Philippine Sea with the discovery of the Benham Rise Region. The UN concurrence added 135,506 square kilometers, about 45% of the nation’s land area, to Philippine seabed area and the waters…


Time to Reactivate Naval Station Bicobian

An Order was issued proclaiming a Naval Reservation at Bicobian, Isabela by former President Ferdinand Marcos after the Karagatan incident wherein the CPA/NPA/NDF landed some 500 M14 rifles (made in China) on a fishing boat that ran aground at Digoyo Point, Isabela due to rough seas in mid-1972. I later got ordered to move the RPS Iloilo (PS32) from Northern…


On the Philippines’ Chairing ASEAN in 2017

The Philippine Ambassadors Foundation Inc. (PAFI) urges the Philippines to seize the opportunity presented by its chairing of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in 2017 when ASEAN celebrates the 50th anniversary of its founding to assert and project a leadership role in the construction of regional ocean governance and maritime security as a Philippine contribution to the ASEAN Community…


Keep Fort San Antonio Abad Afloat

IS THIS HOW IT ALL STARTED? IS THIS HOW IT WILL END? The latest Base Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) website advertises the sale of Fort Abad: A BIT OF HISTORY.  More than five centuries ago, in 1584, the Spanish Armada established  “Fuerte de San Antonio Abad” in Manila way ahead of Fort San Felipe (1609) in Cavite, to protect the…


Indonesian Submarine Program: Acquisitions and Upgrades

The Indonesian Navy (Tentara Nasional Indonesia – Angkatan Laut: TNI-AL) is currently anticipating the delivery of three new Type 209/1400-class submarines from the South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME). The service has also indicated aspirations to operate a fleet of either 10 or 12 underwater fighting platforms beyond 2024. What are the Indonesian government’s requirements for these…


P. Du30’s Top Priority – Poverty, Terrorism Or Drugs?

PART I As clearly proven during the closing days of 2016 and early 2017, terrorism and violence around the world dominated the headlines. Not just the beleaguered Middle East, but also Egypt, Nigeria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, France, Belgium, Turkey, Russia, Mexico, Brazil, Indonesia, the Philippines and even the U.S. were not spared wanton killings because of man’s inhumanity to fellowman. According…


Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific, Kamaya Point, Mariveles, Bataan

MAAP Receives ISO 9001:2015 Recertification

Following its 2017 periodic audit, the Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific (MAAP) has recently received its ISO 9001:2015 recertification issued by Det Norske Veritas (DNV) and Germanischer Lloyd (GL) or DNV-GL. This second audit focused on effective risk management on quality processes. MAAP President Vice Admiral Eduardo Ma. R. Santos AFP (Ret) said, “This achievement is the result…


APFC Receives Maritime Recognition Award

Archipelago Philippine Ferries Corp. (APFC) or FastCat received a Maritime Recognition Award from the Maritime Forum in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of The Maritime League, the forum’s founding convener. FastCat Chairman, Christopher Pastrana was present to receive the award for the “Excellence in the Development, Management and Operation of a Modern Interisland Ferry System” category. The company owns and operates the country’s first and…


Southeast Asia Transshipment Hubs to Compete Fiercely in 2017

Southeast Asia’s port scene is incredibly dynamic, and 2017 will be a year of significant changes with big implications for shippers as structural adjustments in the liner shipping sector and the region’s economic make-up continue. The changing market could result in lower terminal handling charges for shippers as container terminals in the region fight to undercut each other on pricing…