Navy set to recruit hundreds of militia to monitor territorial waters
The Philippine Navy is set to recruit hundreds to serve as militia to help secure and monitor the country's territorial waters.
"We intend to have two companies per naval forces so that's about 120 maritime CAAS (Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit) Active Auxiliaries per naval forces, that is the intent," Navy chief Vice Adm. Giovanni Carlo Bacordo said in a virtual press briefing with the Defense Press Corps on Monday morning.
"Later on from there, we will know if we need to increase or we need to decrease their forces but we will start with the baseline of 120 per naval forces," he said.
Bacordo said the concept is having the equivalent of the Army's CAAs.
"If you operate on water, then that's the area of the maritime CAAs. We intend to have maritime CAAs in all of our naval forces which will be an additional contribution to the area commands," he added.
Bacordo admitted that the Philippine Navy has maritime CAAS in western and eastern Mindanao.
"These maritime CAAs has been in existence for long.. when I was in Naval Forces Western Mindanao way back in 2013, a 2014-2016 we already have the maritime CAAs in Western Mindanao and also in Eastern Mindanao," he said.
"The principle behind the maritime militia is the same principle as having CAAs on land, it seems that you just transfer the CAAs to our territorial sea, that's the importance of this maritime CAAs," Bacordo stated.
"We cannot be at a specific area for long. So if we patrol let's say the Bajo de Masinloc area, after a while that same ship will be recalled to patrol the West Philippine Sea or patrol the Benham Rise. The maritime CAAs can stay longer in an area because that is their place of abode, that is within, close to their place of abode, so they fill in," he explained.
The Navy chief emphasized that this is '' a stop gap measure.''
''We don't have the capability to be everywhere. Our maritime CAAs like our reservists they are our force multipliers. They can fill in in our absence," he added. Robina Asido/DMS