Philippines, Indonesia meet on maritime issues

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The Philippines hosted the 9th Meeting of the Joint Permanent Working Group on Maritime and Ocean Concerns (JPWG-MOC) between the Philippines and Indonesia from June 8 to 10, 2016 in Makati City.

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The meeting discussed the proposed implementing arrangement between the Philippines and Indonesia on Articles II and III of the 2014 Agreement on the Delimitation of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Boundary and the related issue of joint production of a nautical chart of the Celebes Sea. The 2014 Delimitation Agreement, touted to be the first of such accord between two archipelagic states, defines the EEZ limits of the two countries.

The clear definition of the EEZ boundaries between the two countries is seen not only as a vehicle for strengthening maritime regulatory regime in the Celebes Sea but more importantly in promoting cooperation in safety and security of navigation and search and rescue, and marine and fisheries cooperation, including combating Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing (IUUF) practices, among others. For Filipino seafarers and fishermen, this means being able to undertake their respective economic activities within the Philippine EEZ with the least interference.

With the shared desire of both countries of firming up the modus operandi in the conduct and implementation of border patrol and monitoring, backed up by clarity of their EEZ limits, the Meeting revisited the 1975 Border Crossing Agreement and the 1975 Border Patrol Agreement. Further internal discussions within their respective capitals are expected to ensue.

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