NSFA, Panacan, Davao City– The AFP’s Eastern Mindanao Command will host the 33rd Republic of the Philippines-Republic of Indonesia (RP-RI) Border Committee Vice Chairmen’s Conference at the Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao City around 8:00 a.m., June 25. The conference is another opportunity to further strengthen mutual commitment for a peaceful resolution of issues arising at the border of the two neighboring countries.
The conference aimed to discuss proposed agreement which consist of the following agenda: 1. Joint RP-RI search and rescue operations at the border seas; 2. Information sharing between the Philippine Navy Naval Operations Center and Indonesian Navy Command Control Center and between the Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao Operations Center and the Eastern Fleet Command of the Indonesian Navy; 3. Expansion of activities during coordinated patrol (Philippines-Indonesia) such as Humanitarian Assistance Disaster and Relief (HADR) assistance; 4. To review the standard operating procedure on mandatory equipment onboard vessels crossing the border seas; 5. To advise border crossers to pass through border crossing stations prior to their final destination; 6. To optimize personnel in border post to minimize undocumented border crossers; and 7. Use of aircraft in border patrol.
Accordingly, there were border crossers engaged in trading and entering the Philippines and Indonesia territory without passing through the specified border crossing stations.
The Philippines-Indonesia Border Crossing System was designed to regulate the movement of the inhabitants within the border areas in order to prevent violation of laws of both countries.
Lt. Gen. Ricardo Rainier G. Cruz III, Commander of the Eastern Mindanao Command and Chairman of the Philippine Border Committee, members of the Unified Staff and concerned government officials warmly welcomed the Vice Chairman of the Republic of Indonesia Border Committee Commander of Naval Main Based in Manado Laksma (Commodore) TNI Raja Morni Harahap and party comprised of military officers and concerned Indonesian government officials. Laksma Harahap was accorded with traditional military arrival honor by the Vice-Chairman Philippine Border Committee and Commander, Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao Commo. Joel T. Dela Cruz at EASTMINCOM Hqs.
Regional directors and officials from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Department of Social Welfare and Development XI, National Statistics Office XI, Maritime Industry XI, Mindanao Development Authority, Bureau of Immigration, Bureau of Quarantine and Department of Foreign Affairs attended the conference.
“Philippines and Indonesia is working as a team to come up with a mutually beneficial solution to every issue arising borders. What we have in common is the willingness to improve relations in order to protect our mutual interest”, Lt. Gen. Cruz said
It can be recalled that the Philippines and Indonesia are both signatories of the United Nations on the Convention of the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS) which later created the Regional Fisheries Management Organization and thereafter created the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission aimed of developing resolutions, conservation and management measures relating to fishing operations in the High Seas at the Pacific Ocean. (Press release from PIO, EASTMINCOM)