The 1987 Philippine Constitution mandates the creation of one national police force which is civilian in character. The passing into law of RA 6975 in December 13, 1990 merge and reorganized the Integrated National Police and the Philippine Constabulary into the encompassing Philippine National Police which was activated in January 29, 1991. Consequently, NHQ PNP General Order No. 58 created the Maritime Police Command on January 16, 1991 to be one of its National Support Units.
This unit was envisioned to be the primary agency responsible in law enforcement at the maritime environment. Its mission was to enforce the law, prevent and control crimes, maintain peace and order and ensure public safety and internal security over Philippine waters, islands coastal areas, ports and harbors for the protection and sustainable development of the maritime environment.
The need for a maritime law enforcing law enforcing unity 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 ‘80s. The conceptual foundations of such unit were taken from the seaborne battalion of the Philippine Constabulary. The Constabulary Off-shore anti Crime Battalion or COSAC was created in February 1, 1971 and was tasked to curb illegal activites in the maritime environment.
The newly created unit was then a conglomeration of several personnel from the services of the AFP and the INP. During the integration, naval officers signified their intentions to jion the PNP. Likewise, organic members of the Philippine Marine Corps and the Philippine Coastguard also join the Maritime Command. PC/INP officers and men was also absorbed to form its core of personnel.
The advent of RA 6975 deactivated the Philippine Constabulary in 1990 and subsequently the COSAC colors were encased. This made the effective dissolution of all constabulary units in the country. Conceptually, it may be considered that the Maritime Police traces its roots to the COSAC but not as to its direct lineage. The PNP Maritime Group is a unique and distinct support unit of the Philippine National Police.
The early years of the PNP indicated several flaws in its structure. Thus reorganizing it was necessary to make it more responsive to the demands of the service. Resolution Number 92-96 was then issued to streamline the PNP organizational structure.
On September 12, 1996, NAPOLCOM Resolution No. 96-058 renamed the “Maritime Command” to “Maritime Group” and the “Maritime Districts” to “Regional Maritime Offices” or RMOs.
To carry out this mission, fifteen (15) Regional Maritime Offices with its forty seven (47) Maritime Police Stations and thirty four (34) Maritime Police Precincts were strategically positioned all over the Philippine Archipelago.