The need for a maritime law enforcing unit was not a new concept under the new law. It is in fact an off-shoot of the rapidly expanding and multi-faceted role of policing in the country during the 1970’s. The conceptual foundations of such a unit were taken from the seaborne battalion of the Philippine Constabulary. The Constabulary Off-Shore Anti-Crime Battalion or COSAC was created on February 1, 1971 and was tasked to curb illegal activities in the maritime environment. The advent of RA 6975 deactivated the Philippine Constabulary in 1991 and subsequently the COSAC colors were encased. This made the effective dissolution of all Constabulary units in the country.
The 1987 Philippine Constitution mandates the creation of one national police force which is civilian in character. The passing into law of RA 6975 on December 13, 1990 merged and reorganized the PC/INP into the encompassing Philippine National Police which activated the Maritime Command on January 16, 1991 to be one of its National Operational Support Units pursuant to NHQ PNP General Order No. 58.
In order to facilitate the organizational development of the unit, NHQ, PNP designated then PCSUPT ADAM M JIMENEZ, JR, as its first Director effective January 16, 1991. The newly created unit was then a conglomeration of several personnel from AFP and INP. Organic members of the Philippine Navy and the Philippine Coast Guard also joined the PNP Maritime Command. Other PC/INP officers and men were also absorbed to form its core of personnel.
It was later renamed as PNP Maritime Group pursuant to NAPOLCOM Resolution No. 96-058 dated September 12, 1996 and further renaming its “Maritime Districts” to “Regional Maritime Office (RMO)”.
The Maritime Group was envisioned to be the primary PNP Unit responsible in law enforcement in the maritime environment. Its mission then was to perform all police functions over Philippine territorial waters and rivers. It is tasked to carry out the mandated police functions over Philippine territorial waters and rivers to include ports and harbors and small islands with the responsibility of securing and keeping safe a total of 36, 289 kilometers of coastlines throughout the 7,107 islands of the entire archipelago and safeguarding a sea area which is nine times bigger than the country’s total land area.
At present, to carry out its mission, the Group have seventeen (17) Regional Maritime Units with its fifty seven (57) Maritime Police Stations, eleven (11) Maritime Police Precincts, two (2) Special Operations Units and three (3) Support Units were strategically positioned all over the Philippine Archipelago.