THE Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) has extended its grant to the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) for the implementation of the third phase of a project aimed at improving security at the country’s ports.
Ken Ward, counselor from the Australian Department of Transport and Regional Services during the Philippine presentation of its maritime security measures, said AusAid is committing another A$1 million (about US$829,894) for the project.
Australia is working with local transportation officials to develop a national strategic framework for post security aimed at reducing security risks from terrorism incidents in port facilities.
The project will provide training to improve the capacity of port authorities to develop and implement port security plans.
AusAID will start its financial year on July 1, which means the project could commence by the second half of the year.
For the first two phases of the project, AusAID has already given the country A$3.47 million (or $2.87 million).
The first phase, which started early 2004, was mainly to help the country’s ports comply with the International Maritime Organization’s International Ship and Port Facility Security Code by June 2004.
The second phase includes capacity building for the development of a national security program for sea transport and maritime infrastructure, which government authorities launched last month.
Australia started giving funds to various countries in the Asia Pacific region, mostly developing nations, after its Parliament approved the country’s terrorism act or the Australian Security Intelligence Organization Legislation Amendment Act 2003.