Metro Manila, Philippines — The National Security Council (NSC) said on Tuesday it took months before it was able to finalize with other agencies involved the new strategy that the country will implement in protecting its sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).
“It’s the entire government bureaucracy who’s involved… It took some time and given that we have regular ROREs (rotation and resupply), there’s always something that crops up so we make adjustments to the national strategy. Now that things have become very clear we are now preparing to make this presentation,” NSC Assistant Director General Jonathan Malaya told CNN Philippines’ The Source
During a briefing on Monday, Malaya said the government made a new national game plan on the WPS to reflect “some adjustments.” He said National Security adviser Eduardo Año led the crafting of the new strategy.
Malaya said they are awaiting word on their request for a meeting with the chief executive.
The implementation of the new strategy is timely given China’s increasing aggression in the WPS, he noted.
The China Coast Guard (CCG) on Sunday fired water cannons against Philippine ships on their way to deliver supplies to Filipino troops on Ayungin Shoal. Philippine authorities said 46 Chinese vessels tried to block the mission, the biggest number Beijing has deployed so far.
Prior to this, the CCG also blasted water cannons at two Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources ships on their way to bring fuel subsidies and food packs to Filipino fishermen at Scarborough Shoal.