House more committed to PCG, AFP modernization

House more committed to PCG, AFP modernization after WPS incident

/ 01:45 PM March 05, 2024

PHOTO: Martin Romualdez STORY: House more committed to PCG, AFP modernization after WPS incident

House Speaker Martin Romualdez (Photo from the Facebook account of the House of Representatives )

MANILA, Philippines — Following a series of incidents in the West Philippine Sea (WPS), Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez said on Tuesday that the House would all the more support the modernization plan for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

“The House of Representatives pledges its full cooperation in the legislative process to ensure the timely implementation of measures to strengthen the Philippine Coast Guard and modernize the AFP to bolster our country’s defense posture in the face of emerging challenges,” Romualdez said in a statement.


“We stand united in support of President [Ferdinand] Marcos Jr.’s firm resolve to enhance our defense capabilities to uphold our country’s sovereignty and protect our national interest in the West Philippine Sea,” he added.


Chinese ships have been spotted recently in different areas that are well within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone or EEZ. Earlier, PCG said that one of their vessels even collided with the China Coast Guard seacraft during an AFP resupply mission in the WPS.

READ: PH and China coast guard ships collide in West Philippine Sea 

The latest collision — which damaged PCG vessel MRRV-4407 — happened during the rotation and reprovisioning operation of the AFP, according to PCG spokesperson Commodore Jay Tarriela.

Dangerous maneuvers

“Throughout the operation, the PCG vessels faced dangerous maneuvers and blocking from Chinese Coast Guard vessels and Chinese Maritime Militia,” Tarriela said.

“Their reckless and illegal actions led to a collision between MRRV-4407 and China Coast Guard 21555 that resulted in minor structural damage to the PCG vessel,” Tarriela reported.

READ: Marcos: Presence of Chinese warships in West Philippine Sea ‘worrisome’


“I am deeply concerned about this recent development in connection with the territorial dispute between our nation and China. The stability and prosperity of our region rely heavily on the principles of diplomacy and adherence to the rules-based order,” Romualdez said.

Despite this, Romualdez said that the Philippines under President Marcos Jr. still seeks to pursue disputes through diplomatic channels. On Monday, the Chief Executive said the Philippines will cooperate with China in areas where the two countries’ interests align but would push back if its sovereignty is threatened.

READ: Marcos: PH will push back vs China if maritime interests ignored


“The Philippines remains committed to pursuing diplomatic channels to address this issue and seeks to foster a relationship with China based on mutual respect and cooperation. We believe that by working together in a spirit of goodwill, we can achieve a peaceful and equitable resolution to our territorial dispute,” the Speaker added.

Romualdez and other lawmakers on Monday have assured Filipinos that the government will not compromise the country’s sovereign rights over its territory.

The assurance came after Chinese research vessels last Friday, were seen loitering over the Philippine Rise, a resource-rich underwater plateau located on the eastern side of Luzon, away from the disputed WPS.

READ: Chinese research vessels ‘loitering’ at Philippine Rise

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Days before this discovery, Chinese warships were seen over the WPS. According to the Philippine Navy, they have experienced interference in its electronic capabilities during operations in the WPS.

For comprehensive coverage, in-depth analysis, and the latest updates on the West Philippine Sea issue, visit our special site here. Stay informed with articles, videos, and expert opinions.

TAGS: AFP Modernization Program, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Martin Romualdez, West Philippine Sea, WPS collision

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