MANILA – The United States government donated PHP3 million worth of maritime tactical and first aid equipment to boost the Philippines’ maritime law enforcement capability, the US Embassy in Manila said Wednesday.

The donation was turned over by the Department of State - Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs to the Philippine National Police - Maritime Group (PNP-MG) in Camp Crame, Quezon City on August 16.

The donation includes binoculars, waterproof digital cameras, handheld VHF radios, and first aid kits – items identified by the PNP-MG as common requirements for Regional Maritime Units and Special Operations Units to carry out more effective maritime domain monitoring and response through improved communications and trauma care.

“We are confident that these items will enhance the PNP-MG’s ability to operate more effectively and safely across the spectrum of maritime law enforcement activities,” NL Manila Director Kelia Cummins said.

PNP-MG Director, Police Brig. Gen. Harold Tuzon, meanwhile, described the donation as a "tribute to the long-standing partnership between the PNP-MG and the United States," adding it would help maintain law and order and maintain internal security.

The partnership between the US and the PNP over the years has helped establish the PNP-MG’s Special Operations Units in the provinces of Palawan and Tawi-Tawi, while specialized programs have enhanced capabilities in areas, such as underwater crime scene investigations (UCSI) and illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing.

Additional donations to PNP-MG to support UCSI are expected later this year, the US Embassy in Manila said. (PNA)