PH, Australia discusses possibility of joint maritime activities
PH, Australia discusses possibility of joint maritime activities
PH, Australia discusses possibility of joint maritime activities
by Karen Ow-Yong11 October 2023
Photo Courtesy: DFA Sec. Enrique Manalo X account

MANILA – The Philippines and Australia are discussing the possibility of joint maritime activities in the future, including but not limited to joint patrols in the South China Sea.

According to Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo, both countries are looking at “expanding maritime cooperation” and activities such as policy planning, practical engagement and capacity-building through maritime activities in the South China Sea.

Speaking before the Australian Institute of International Affairs at the University of Adelaide on Monday, Manalo said, “"Our reinforced commitment as maritime democracies is to uphold an UNCLOS-based maritime regime and ensure maritime safety and security, freedom of navigation and overflight.”

UNCLOS or the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, extends the territorial jurisdiction of maritime states up to 200 nautical miles from its coasts and signed by at least 162 counties, including the Philippines and China.


“The Philippines is prepared to play its part in such a new vigorous period in our defense and security partnership with Australia, not to confront nor provoke, but to honor our commitment to our people for the protection of our sovereignty, territorial integrity, and regional stability," said Manalo.

Manalo also met with his counterpart Penny Wong on Tuesday and confirmed that both sides have to agreed to hold a Defense Ministers’ Meeting every year starting in 2024.

Only Australia and the Philippines’ long-time treaty ally, the United States, have entered into a defense accord with Manila for joint military exercises in the country. A similar agreement is being discussed with Japan.

Also discussed during Manalo’s visit are possible cooperation in cybersecurity, critical infrastructure security, environmental protection and climate change.


According to Manalo, a “plan of action” will also be set in place to give guidance as both sides “advance our bilateral relationship from strength to strength”.

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