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18/01/2013: Ambassador Cuisia Promotes Welfare of Filipino Seamen, PH-US Relations at Meeting with U.S. Admiral Papp

18 January 2013

18 JANUARY 2013, WASHINGTON, D.C. Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. met today with Admiral Robert Papp, Jr., Commandant of the US Coast Guard, to further strengthen cooperation between the Embassy of the Philippines and the US Coast Guard, in particular to promote the welfare of Filipino seafarers.

Ambassador Cuisia told Admiral Papp that the Philippines is the largest source of the world’s seafarers, with nearly 700,000, nearly half of which work overseas. Ambassador Cuisia said that a good number of these seafarers work in ships that visit ports of call and pass through the coasts of the United States. Closer relations with the US Coast Guard would facilitate assistance by the Embassy to Filipino seamen who may figure in accidents or any maritime issues.

Ambassador Cuisia stated that there are also several Filipinos working as welders, fitters, scaffolders and riggers who were hired in the Philippines to work in offshore platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. The Ambassador took the opportunity to thank Admiral Papp for the US Coast Guard’s significant and critical role in the aftermath of an oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, when it conducted a successful rescue, search, and recovery of missing Filipino workers.

Ambassador Cuisia briefed Admiral Papp on the dynamic alliance between the Philippines and the United States and emphasized that increased cooperation with the US Coast Guard will contribute to an enhanced relationship between the two countries. He expressed appreciation for the transfer by the U.S. Government to the Philippines of two US Coast Guard cutters to the Philippines, the USCGC Hamilton WHEC-715 and USCGC Dallas WHEC-716. Admiral Papp assured Ambassador Cuisia that in his own capacity he will continue to be supportive and hopeful for the Philippines with regard to the possibility of sourcing more defense articles from the U.S.

Admiral Papp leads the largest component of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), comprised of 42,000 active duty, 8,0200 Reserve, 8,000 civilian and 31,000 volunteer Auxiliarists. The Coast Guard is noted for its blend of military, humanitarian and law enforcement capabilities to save lives and property at sea, protect and maintain ports and maritime transportation system, secure borders, respond to natural disasters, protect marine environment and defend the United Sates. END

18 January 2013

Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. and Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr. at a meeting at the United States Coastguard Headquarters, Washington, D.C.