The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) installed five navigational buoys to mark the "critical areas" in the West Philippine Sea (WPS). Each of the buoys consists of a Philippine flag.

PCG-WPS spokesperson Commodore Jay Tarriela took to Twitter Sunday to share a series of photos featuring the navigational buoys and wrote, "The Task Force Kaligtasan sa Karagatan (TF KsK) of the @coastguardph has achieved another milestone in securing the West Philippine Sea."

The spokesperson noted that the five navigational buoys are installed on Patag Island, Balagtas Reef, Kota Island, Panata Island, and Juan Felipe Reef.

"CG VADM Joseph Coyme, along with CG COMMO Rommel Supangan, conducted a Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) Flight to inspect the newly installed buoys on May 13, 2023," he continued. "The installation of these buoys, adorned with the Philippine flag, signifies the country's sovereign rights and jurisdiction over the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)."

He concluded the tweet, "This move highlights the Philippines' unwavering resolve to protect its maritime borders and resources and contribute to the safety of maritime trade."

In a radio interview over the weekend, the Commander of Coast Guard District South Western Mindanao, Commodore Joseph M Coyme, said that they were keeping an eye on the alleged Chinese militia vessels that anchored in Philippine-claimed maritime areas.

He noted that the PCG in the area applied a diplomatic approach and did not escalate tension.

"We are not yet in that situation that we would say that there is a heightened tension over the area," Coyme said, Philstar reported. "With our ships there, we are normally conducting our law enforcement functions pertaining to maritime safety and not provocative in nature."

This is not the first time that PCG witnessed a Chinese militia vessel during maritime patrols. Previously, PCG was conducting patrols from April 18 to 24 in the WPS, when they confronted a Chinese warship with bow number 549 on April 21.

According to the report, PCG demanded the Chinese to leave the area.

PCG commandant Admiral Artemio Abu issued a statement over the weekend and said, "As we continue to expand our workforce and imbibe the spirit of nationalism in every Coast Guardian, now is the perfect time to implement the PCG modernization program."

He continued, "We envision the PCG as a symbol of hope and a source of our nation's pride. Rest assured that HB No. 8028, once passed into law, shall serve as our compass in ensuring a safe and secure Philippine maritime domain."

The Philippines and China have territorial disputes in the South China Sea. In fact, the Philippines put an arbitration case against China under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled in favor of the Philippines in July 2016, noting that China's claims in the South China Sea had no legal basis. However, China didn't agree with the ruling and carried on with its activities in the disputed areas.

Commercial vessels including vessels which are part of Black Sea grain deal wait to pass the Bosphorus strait off the shores of Yenikapi in Istanbul, Turkey