PHL, Indonesia hold 10th meeting on maritime concerns

The Philippines and Indonesia held the 10th Meeting of the Joint Permanent Working Group on Maritime and Ocean Concerns (JPWG-MOC) in Yogyakarta on 19-21 September 2019, reviving a key bilateral mechanism for the first time in three years.

The seven-member Philippine delegation was led by DFA Maritime and Ocean Affairs Assistant Secretary Generoso D.G. Calonge while roughly a 30-member Indonesian delegation was led by Mr. Bebeb A.K.N Djundjunan, Director for Legal Affairs and Territorial Treaties of the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The JPWG-MOC, which reports to the more senior Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation, was established to serve as the primary forum between the Philippines and Indonesia for exchange of views on maritime issues of mutual interest.

The two sides were boosted by the entry into force of the 2014 Agreement on EEZ Delimitation through an exchange of instruments of ratification by Foreign Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin and Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi in Bangkok on 1 August 2019.

During the Meeting, the Philippine and Indonesian delegations discussed post-EEZ boundary delimitation issues, the joint co-production of navigational charts, the delimitation of the continental shelf, cooperation on search and rescue, and marine and fisheries cooperation, and efforts to combat IUU fishing.

The two sides resolved to address remaining issues of concern in order to reach agreements or MOUs on some key concerns.

The discussions also focused on possible future cooperation by both sides, including engaging academia, to address issues of common concern, namely challenges posed by climate change, opportunities for resource development and the preservation of marine biodiversity, among others.

The Meeting also reaffirmed the continuing friendly and constructive relations between the Philippines and Indonesia, which commemorate this year the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations in December 1949.

At the conclusion of the Meeting, Assistant Secretary Calonge offered to host the Indonesian Delegation at the 11th JPWG-MOC sometime next year in the Philippines.

The previous Meeting, the 9th JPWG-MOC, was hosted by the Philippines in Makati City on 8-10 June 2016. DFA.GOV.PH