Mayor Sara Duterte on Wednesday, August 26, ordered the creation of the Davao City Inter-Agency Coordinating Council on Maritime Safety and Security, also known as Maritime Task Force.

Duterte signed the Executive Order No. 49 Series of 2020, which also defines the body’s powers and functions, among other purposes.

The mayor approved the recommendation of the Davao City Council’s Committee on Peace and Public Safety, which underscored the need to establish a Maritime Coordinating Council “that would address challenges of ensuring interoperability operations by all concerned government agencies charged to enforce maritime protocols within the jurisdiction of Davao City”.

The newly formed council shall implement measures to address all maritime safety and security issues, conduct search and rescue operations, and enforce laws on environmental protection in the maritime waters within Davao City; and sustain and monitor – along with other concerned government agencies – the protection of the maritime environment and other issues that may affect the city’s safety and security.

The task force shall also maintain a constant and updated city risk assessment on criminality, terrorism, maritime emergencies, and smuggling activities within the maritime and coastal waters of the city; develop a plan to integrate and orchestrate law enforcement operations affecting public safety and security along the city’s coastal waters; and formulate and conduct pieces of training, seminars, workshops, and other activities within and among coordinating agencies for proper implementation of duties imposed by the law.

E.O. 49 also states that the Maritime Coordinating Council shall facilitate the exchange of intelligence information and strengthen maritime enforcement operations; analyze and identify target personalities and determine emerging threats and crimes; recommend policies, plans, programs, and projects for efficient interoperability operations among agencies involved in enforcing the duties in the ordinance; and perform other duties and functions as may be directed by the mayor.

The city mayor or her duly recognized representative shall be the chairperson of the Maritime Coordinating Council, whose budget will be sourced from available funds of the city government of Davao. CIO