Indonesia, Japan join MARPOLEX in Bacolod

BRP Gabriela Silang (OPV 8301) of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) departed for Bacolod City from Panacan Wharf, Davao City, on June 19 to join this year’s Regional Marine Pollution Exercise (MARPOLEX), alongside counterparts from Indonesia and Japan from June 24 to 28. (Photo courtesy of Coast Guard District Southeastern Mindanao)

By Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD CITY – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) is hosting this year’s Regional Marine Pollution Exercise (MARPOLEX), alongside counterparts from Indonesia and Japan, from June 24 to 28.

Coast Guard Ensign Frances Doren Balboa-Baterbonia from the PCG Public Affairs Service said the exercises include search and rescue, firefighting, oil spill recovery, equipment recovery, and damage assessment.

Commander Paterno Belarmino, head of PCG-Northern Negros Occidental, said observers and participants from ASEAN countries and the U.S. Coast Guard will also attend.

Around 300 to 500 delegates are expected to join this year’s MARPOLEX, he added.

The PCG’s BRP Gabriela Silang (OPV 8301) departed from Panacan Wharf, Davao City, on June 19 to join the activity.

According to the PCG, MARPOLEX 2024 is designed to train and enhance interoperability readiness and capability in the event of a major spillage occurring near or along the Philippines and Indonesian waters, as well as to test response strategies of the three countries.

The exercise is conducted every two years, according to the PCG.

The last Regional MARPOLEX was held in Makassar, Indonesia, in 2022, and in Davao in 2019 before the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

MARPOLEX between the Philippines and Indonesia began in 1986, following the implementation of the Sulu Sulawesi Oil Spill Network Plan in 1981. Japan joined the exercise in 1995.

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