NSFA, Panacan, Davao City – Philippine Border Committee (PHBC) and Indonesian Border Committee (IDBC) eye for more frequent sea border patrols next year as the Coordinated Patrol Philippines-Indonesia (CORPAT PHIL-INDO) XXXVI-2022 culminated on December 14 at the SMX Convention Center, Lanang, Davao City.
Commander of Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) and PHBC Chairman LtGen. Greg T. Almerol, and Rear Admiral Dr. TSNB Hutabarat MMS, Commander of the Indonesian Navy’s 2nd Fleet Command and IDBC Chairman, bared that this is part of the 12-point agenda they are proposing with their respective governments.
“Expect that we will increase the frequency of conducting patrols to once a month to do our part, especially in cases of shipwreck due to calamities and typhoons, and to address the concerns of our fishermen who are in those areas,” LtGen. Almerol said.
CORPAT PHIL-INDO is a joint patrol between the Indonesian Navy and the Philippine Navy, which aims to enhance interoperability and secure the maritime borders of both countries against piracy, illegal crossing, and other criminal activities carried out four legs a year through Harbor and Sea Phases.
This year, the series of CORPAT began on March 28-30, followed by the Second Leg on July 05-11 with an Opening Ceremony in Manado City, Indonesia, the Third Leg in the last week of October, and the Fourth Leg on December 11-16 with the Closing Ceremony in Davao City.
The Fourth Leg’s Sea Phase, held on December 11-13, was joined by the BRP Artemio Ricarte PS-37 from the Philippine Navy and KRI HUI-634 from the Indonesian Navy, completing several Maritime Security Patrols and Exercises with a total steaming time of 47 hours and 51 minutes covering 515.2 nautical miles.
Likewise, the Harbor Phase, held on December 13-14, was done in a pre-pandemic manner with the docking of KRI HUI-634 and its crew here; Courtesy Call of RAdm. Hutabarat and his Indonesian delegates to LtGen. Almerol at Headquarters EastMinCom; and Closing Ceremony/Fellowship Dinner hosted by EastMinCom at the SMX Convention Center.
LtGen. Almerol also accorded RAdm. Hutabarat and his delegates a traditional arrival honors during their visit.
Some of the CORPAT’s significant accomplishments this year include the repatriation of 14 Filipinos from Indonesia back to their families on July 11 and the return of seven Filipino fishermen to the country on November 22 after they were rescued by a Japanese vessel when their boat capsized near the Philippines-Indonesia border.
During the Closing Ceremony, RAdm. Hutabarat expressed his gratitude to all the members of the Philippines-Indonesia Border Committees for their cooperation and professionalism that made the CORPAT PHIL-INDO XXXVI-2022 successful.
“I believe, despite the huge responsibility in this task, we have completed the patrols on the basis of cooperation between both parties. We hope this cooperation becomes stronger and develops a necessary means of our security and friendship for years to come,” he said.
Meanwhile, LtGen. Almerol underscored the importance for the Philippines and Indonesia to adopt new strategies that will boost the Coordinated Patrol’s effectiveness.
“The Coordinated Patrol exercise needs to adopt, together with our counterparts, a new strategy on enhancing the interoperability between our forces and make the same more responsive and effective operationally for a safer and more secure maritime environment,” he noted.
“Being at the forefront in maritime security, the Republic of the Philippines Border Committee and the entire Armed Forces of the Philippines commit to strengthen our partnership in all joint endeavors and exert our best effort to safeguard the maritime borders and the best interest of our respective countries,” the EastMinCom Commander added.