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US and Philippines resume coast guard training exercises

THE UNITED States and the Philippines have resumed their training program on small boat operations for the Philippine Coast Guard amid a coronavirus pandemic, according to the US Embassy.

The US Coast Guard held the second phase of the program on Nov. 16 to Dec. 11 to capacitate 16 local coast guard instructors who will in turn train other personnel, it said in an e-mailed statement on Monday.

“This was the first training event conducted by the US Coast Guard in the Philippines since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the embassy said.

The program is part of US-Philippine cooperation to enhance the maritime law enforcement capability of the local coast guard.

The first phase of the series was held on Feb. 24 to March 6, before the entire Luzon island was placed under a strict lockdown to contain the pandemic.

The US embassy earlier said the curriculum included pre-mission planning, risk management, docking, towing and navigation.

The coronavirus pandemic has not only delayed the coast guard training program, but has also resulted in the cancellation of the war games this year. The US-Philippine war games were originally set for May 4 to 15. Charmaine A. Tadalan

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