This article is organised as follows:

  • Part 01: Background to the Philippine National Police Maritime Group (PNP-MG).
  • Part 02: Organisation of the PNP-MG.
  • Part 03: Miscellaneous.


1.0 Introduction

This article provides an overview of the Maritime Group (MG), a unit of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

The Maritime Group is known by a number of nicknames including: MG; and PNP-MG.

The MG is one of several elite units that form part of the PNP Special Operations Forces (SOF).

Part One of this article looks at women and the MG, then discusses the difference between tier 1 and tier 2 forces and highlights the methods of entry. It then outlines the roles and tasks of the MG before finally providing a brief history on its origins. Part Two looks at the organisation of the MG, identifies some key personalities, before moving on to outline the various SOF units, and then finally some of the training courses available. Finally, Part Three provides some useful links and identifies other articles the reader may find useful.

1.1 Aim

The aim of this article is to provide an overview of the Maritime Group.

1.2 Women and the Maritime Group

Women can join the Maritime Group.

1.3 Tier 1 and Tier 2 Special Forces

The Maritime Group does not form part of the APF Special Operations Command [LINK] and is not considered a Special Operations Force (SOF) unit, although it is considered an elite unit within the Philippines.

Some units are referred to as ‘Tier 1’ SF units because they are the units usually tasked with direct action. Other SOF are referred to as ‘Tier 2’ units as they, usually, fulfil a supporting role for the Tier 1 units.

1.4 Method of Entry

Civilians can join the Maritime Group directly (PNP, 2019).

1.5 Roles and Tasks

The role of the Maritime Group includes a number of specialist tasks, for example (PNP, 2017):

  • To train, equip, mobilise, organise and manage resources for effective maritime law enforcement and internal security operations;
  • To enforce all laws, rules, regulations and ordinances relative to the protection of lives, properties and environment;
  • To arrest, investigate and assist in the prosecution of terrorists, smuggling, drug traffickers and other criminal element; and
  • To conduct search and rescue operations.

1.6 Brief History

Key dates include (PNP-MG, 2018a):

  • 1971:
    • The concept of a maritime police unit emanated during the days of Philippine Constabulary that led to the creation of a seaborne battalion known as the called Constabulary Off-Shore Anti-Crime Battalion (COSAC) on 01 February 1971.
    • The COSAC was tasked to suppress all criminal activities that affects the environment.
  • 1991:
    • After the establishment of the Philippine National Police (PNP) through Republic Act 6975, the Maritime Police Command (MARICOM) was established on 16 January 1991, by virtue of National Headquarters (NHQ) PNP General Orders No. 58 as one of the National Operational Support Units of the PNP.
    • The original members of the Maritime Command were personnel of Philippine Constabulary, Philippine Navy, Integrated National Police and Philippine Coast Guard.
    • The Special Operations Team (SOT) became the Special Reaction Unit (SRU).
  • 1996:
    • On 12 September 1996, the National Police Commission (Philippines) issued Resolution No.96-058, mandating changing the name from Maritime Police Command (MARICOM) to Maritime Group (MG).
  • 2010:
    • Special Boat Operations Unit established with help from the US government (Anda, 2016).
    • Based in Honda Bay, the unit operated in Palawan and Tawi-Tawi.
  • 2016:
    • The National Police Commission approved the establishment of three Special Operations Units within the Maritime Group (Ong, 2016).


2.0 Introduction

This part of the article outlines the organisation of the Maritime Group, including its commander and the various units and sub-units within it.

2.1 Maritime Group Mission

The general mission of the Maritime Group is to perform all police functions and ensure public safety and internal security over Philippine territorial waters and rivers including ports of entry and exit; and sustain the protection of the maritime environment.

The specific tasks of the Special Operations Units includes (Ong, 2016):

  • To support the Police Regional Offices (PRO’s) by conducting security, anti-terrorism and anti-criminality operations;
  • Enforce environmental and maritime laws;
  • To conduct tactical boat operations and maritime investigations; and
  • Collaborate with other operating units of the PNP and other agencies, including the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine Coast Guard and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in the protection of maritime areas.

2.2 Commander Maritime Group

The Maritime Group is led by the Director Maritime Group (DMG), a Police Chief Superintendent (equivalent to a Brigadier General, OF-6) (PNP, 2017, p.95), based at the headquarters (HQ) at Camp Crame, Quezon City.

The Commander Maritime Group reports to the Chief of the Directorial Staff, a Police Lieutenant General (OF-8), who in turn reports direct to the Chief PNP, a Police General (OF-9).

2.3 Key Personalities

Key personalities within the Maritime Group include:

  • Director Maritime Group: A Chief Superintendent (equivalent to a Brigadier General).
  • Deputy Director for Administration: A Senior Superintendent (equivalent to a Colonel, OF-5).
  • Deputy Director for Operations: A Senior Superintendent.
  • Chief of Staff: A Senior Superintendent.
  • Commander, Maritime Special Operations Unit: Superintendent (equivalent to Lieutenant Colonel).

2.4 Units of the Maritime Group

The Maritime Group is one of 14 operational support units of the PNP.

In response to the increasing number of criminal activities committed at sea, the National Police Commission (Philippines) approved the activation of three Special Operations Units under the direct operational and administrative control of the Maritime Group.

These units are envisioned to protect the territorial waters of the Philippines by providing rapid and highly mobile seaborne law enforcement response.

The Maritime Group is organised as follows:

  • A number of regional maritime units (operational) and divisions and sections (administrative and training).
  • 1st Special Operations Unit (1SOU-MG):
    • Taganak Station.
    • HQ at Sitio Sukkiat, Nalil, Bongao, Tawi-Tawi.
    • Led by a Superintendent (equivalent to a Lieutenant Colonel, OF-4).
    • Maritime areas of Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, and Isabela City.
  • 2nd Special Operations Unit (2SOU-MG):
    • HQ at Honda Bay, Sta. Lourdes, Puerto Princesa City.
    • Led by a Superintendent.
    • Quezon Special Boat Unit (SBU).
    • Balabac SBU.
    • 2nd SOU-MG Rio Tuba Detachment.
    • 2nd SOU-MG CORON Detachment.
    • Maritime areas of Palawan Province.
  • 3rd Special Operations Unit (3SOU-MG):
    • Led by a Superintendent.
    • Maritime areas of Zamboanga, Maguindanao, and Lantawan, Basilan.

2.5 Recruitment and Training Courses for the Maritime Group

A brief outline of the recruitment process:

  • Eligible candidates apply to join the PNP (PNP MG, 2018b):
    • A citizen of the Philippines.
    • A person of good moral character.
    • Must possess a formal baccalaureate degree from a recognised learning institution.
    • At least 21 years old but not more than 30 years old upon oath-taking.
    • A height of at least 1.62 metres (5ft 4in) for men and 1.57 (5ft 2in) metres for women.
    • PNP Entrance (NAPOLCOM); RA No.1080 (Bar and Board Examinations); and PD No.907 (CS eligibility to College Honour Students).
    • Must not have been dishonourably discharged from military employment or dismissed for cause from any civilian position in the government.
    • Must not have been convicted by final judgment of an offense or crime involving moral turpitude.
    • Must weight not more or less than five kilograms (5kg) from the standard weight corresponding to their weight, age, and sex.
  • Processing and screening:
    • Written examination.
    • Psychiatric/psychological examination (PPE).
    • Physical/medical and dental examination (PMDE).
    • Physical fitness test, known as the Physical Agility Test (PAT).
    • Final interview.
  • Oath-taking and Reception Rites.
  • Basic and field training (see below).

Training courses include:

  • Maritime Trooper Course:
    • The Maritime Group’s Foundation Course is designed to provide personnel with the proficiency in handling situations such as terrorism and insurgency in Philippine Territorial Waters and as a manoeuvring force of the PNP during land-based security operations.
    • The training also provides individual skills to immediately respond in case of natural or man-made disasters.
  • Police Basic SCUBA Diver Course (PBSDC):
    • This course provides students with training in underwater operations to include under water search and rescue operations and to enhance their swimming skills in preparation for crisis and critical management operations involving maritime disaster incidents.
    • Delivered by the Maritime Group Special Waterborne Operations School, Brgy Solo, Mabini, Batangas.


3.0 Useful Publications

  • a

3.1 Useful Links

3.2 References

Anda, R.D. (2016) PNP Unit gets Patrol Boats. Available from World Wide Web: [Accessed: 13 September, 2019].

Ong, C.N.O. (2016) PNP’s Maritime Group now has Operating Units in Critical Waters. Available from World Wide Web: [Accessed: 13 September, 2019].

PNP-MG (Philippine National Police Maritime Group). (2018a) Brief History of Maritime Group. Available from World Wide Web: [Accessed: 13 September, 2019].

PNP-MG (Philippine National Police Maritime Group). (2018b). Qualification to Join the Maritime Group. Available from World Wide Web: [Accessed: 13 September, 2019].