DAVAO CITY -- The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) - Southern Mindanao has collaborated with Indonesia’s Directorate General of Sea Transportation (DGST) and the Japan Coast Guard for a multilateral biennial Maritime Pollution Exercise to combat environmental threats.

Dubbed as "Marpolex", the activity kicks off on July 2 and will run until July 5. It involves simulation drills in firefighting, and search and rescue operations.

Commander Michell Ursabia, public information officer of Coast Guard District Southeastern Mindanao, said the activity will involve sea phase drills at the Davao Gulf, as well as oil spill response and containment for major oil spill incidents.

The exercise will involve seven ships, one fixed-wing aircraft from the PCG, and three oil spill response, search, and rescue, and firefighting vessels from its Indonesian counterparts.

The Japanese Coast Guard's 105-meter patrol vessel equipped with a helicopter will take part in the exercise for the first time.

Ursabia said Marpolex 2019 will test the level of preparedness of participating countries’ assets, enhance their interoperability in combating oil pollution at sea, and introduce new techniques, strategies and effective assessment in oil spill response operation.

He said the drills will also encourage participation and involvement of stakeholders in the oil industry as part of common efforts to combat, control and recover oil spill.

There will also be a seminar on shoreline assessment operations or shoreline damage assessment, calculation of the operational cost of the exercise and environmental damage loss (claims and compensation) for participating delegations, to be provided by the International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association - Global Initiative for Southeast Asia. (PNA)