By Priam Nepomuceno

BOOSTING DISASTER RESPONSE. Philippine Navy chief Vice Admiral Toribio Adaci Jr. (left) attends the 9th Multilateral Maritime Key Leadership Engagement (KLE) held online on Thursday (Jan. 25, 2024). The KLE gathers navies in the Indo-Pacific region to discuss mutual challenges, share insights, and increase awareness about pressing maritime issues. (Photo courtesy of the Philippine Navy)

MANILA – Philippine Navy (PN) chief Vice Admiral Toribio Adaci Jr. said boosting humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR) among allied nations is a vital part of strengthening international relations.

Adaci made this remark during Thursday’s 9th Multilateral Maritime Key Leadership Engagement (KLE) hosted by US Pacific Fleet commander Admiral Samuel Paparo, which he and other naval leaders in the Asia-Pacific region attended online.

“Vice Admiral Adaci emphasized the innovations made by the Philippine government in order to be more effective in HADR. He also highlighted that coordination, collaboration, and collective response to HADR are important aspects of international relations,” PN spokesperson Captain Benjo Negranza said in a statement late Thursday night.

This year’s meeting carries the theme “Challenges delivering Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HA/DR) in the Indo-Pacific and How We Can Strengthen our Response Together”.

The KLE presents a unique and significant opportunity that enables like-minded navies in the Indo-Pacific region to discuss mutual challenges, share insights, and increase awareness about pressing maritime issues.

“As the primary maritime defense force of the country, the Philippine Navy regularly engages international counterparts, anchored on international law and commitment to a rules-based order,” Negranza said. (PNA)