On December 17 in Manila, Secretary of State John Kerry announced the Department of State’s and Department of Defense’s intent to implement a joint three-year $40 million program for the Philippines under the Global Security Contingency Fund (GSCF). The program will be used to improve maritime security and maritime domain awareness, and to provide assistance for law enforcement counterterrorism capacity building in the southern Philippines in line with the country’s 2011 Internal Peace and Security Plan. The GSCF pools the resources of the U.S. Departments of State and Defense, and the expertise of other U.S. agencies, to provide security sector assistance for partner countries to respond to emergent challenges important to U.S. national security.
The creation of a GSCF program for the Philippines is an important step that will support the Philippine security forces as they work to combat terrorism and other threats to regional stability. The GSCF complements the U.S. government’s recently announced expanded assistance for maritime capacity building in Southeast Asia, which also helps strengthen the ability of maritime agencies in the region to carry out law enforcement activities.
Through this GSCF program, we will provide the Philippines with technical expertise, training, and equipment to national-level security forces and government agencies responsible for those forces, in order to address counterterrorism as well as maritime border security challenges. The program will help to enhance the capabilities of Philippines maritime law enforcement and security agencies, particularly the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and Philippine National Police (PNP), in maritime engineering, maritime domain awareness operations, maritime logistics, communication, and vessel maintenance.
By enhancing interagency maritime security operations, the program will strengthen the PNP’s ability to assume increased responsibility for combating terrorism and maintaining internal peace and security in the southern Philippines. The program will also improve the fusion and dissemination of counterterrorism information.