PHILIPPINE National Coast Watch Center director Rear Admiral Joel Garcia, a native of Bago City, Negros Occidental, was elected chairperson of the Governing Council of the Regional Cooperation Agreement in Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery at Sea (ReCAAP) in Asia Pacific during its 12th annual meeting at Mandarin Orchard in Singapore from March 19 to 22.
Garcia's election was considered as a milestone for the Philippines as he will lead the 22-members states such as Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Denmark, India, Japan, Korea, Laos, Myanmar, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Sri Lanka, United States of America, Thailand, United Kingdom and Vietnam and countries of France and Germany which are already in accession to combat piracy and armed robbery at sea effective April 1 this year to April 2021.
"It's a three-year term," Garcia said.
ReCAAP is the first regional government to government agreement that aims to promote and enhance cooperation against piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia. It has established its Information Sharing Center in Singapore which acts as its cooperative mechanism.
The agreement was launched in November 2006 with 14 Asian contracting parties including north, southeast and south Asian countries.