NSFA, Panacan, Davao City – The 39th Philippines – Indonesia Border Committee Chairmen’s Conference (PH-ID BCCC) has recommended the approval of a 12-point agenda that would enhance the diplomatic relations and joint implementation of the 1975 Border Agreements between the two countries.
Hosted by the Republic of Indonesia, the said event was held in a hybrid mode on November 22-23, with the Indonesian delegation joining in Manado City while the Philippine delegation was at the Radisson Park Inn and SMX Lanang Convention Center, Davao City.
LtGen. Greg T. Almerol, the Commander of Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom), served as Chairman of the Philippine Border Committee (PHBC), while RAdm. TNI Dr. TSNB Hutabarat, MMS, Commander of the Indonesian Military Command II, was his Indonesian counterpart.
The PH-ID BCCC is an annual activity that seeks to review and strengthen existing measures to ensure the safe passage of the respective nationals of both countries, including the protection of fisher folks and the prevention of terrorists from transiting in the border areas.
During the 2-day Conference, both Committees deliberated on matters of common concern and interest to both countries.
They agreed to implement policies that will standardize the safety and protection of Filipino and Indonesian nationals at the borders and improve Consular access for detained Filipinos. Both parties also pushed for the standardization of implementing the Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT) by primarily revising its Standing Operating Procedure (SOP).
Considering the threat posed by transnational terrorists to the Philippines and Indonesia, both Committees also looked into the enhancement of Intelligence Cooperation and other security-related matters.
They likewise agreed to accelerate the review of the 1975 Border Patrol and Border Crossing Agreements that will seek to recommend amendments to its provisions to attune to the prevailing situation in maritime security and terrorism in both countries.
“We have the same purpose to overcome issues happening and relating to the border between both countries. The results of this Chairmen’s Conference are real forms of providing solutions for our future,” RAdm. TNI Hutabarat said during the Closing Ceremony.
He also added that he has high hopes that the results of the meeting “shall contribute to a stronger, closer, and more meaningful partnership” between the Philippines and Indonesia.
Meanwhile, LtGen. Almerol expressed that the 39th Border Committee Chairmen’s Conference is one of the opportunities to reaffirm goodwill and promote the pursuit of lasting peace between the two nations.
“Our sincerity manifests commitment in the principles of mutual respect, teamwork, and cooperation. This annual event is one of the major occasions to showcase to the rest of the world our almost five decades of peaceful and harmonious co-existence,” he said.