Friday, November 17, 2023

PHIL-INDO Border Committees Agree to Intensify Border Security, Adopt 11 Agenda Items

NSFA, Panacan, Davao City – The Philippines and Indonesia (PH-ID) Border Committees have agreed to intensify the security measures of their respective territorial borders through the adoption of 11 agenda items during the recently concluded 40th PH-ID Border Committee Chairmen’s Conference (BCCC) at the Acacia Hotel, Lanang, Davao City, on November 16.

This year's PH-ID BCCC, hosted by the Philippine Government through the Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom), was held in a hybrid format with EastMinCom Commander/PHBC Chairman LtGen. Greg T. Almerol and the Philippine contingent physically present at Acacia Hotel.

Simultaneously, Manado Main Naval Base VIII Commander/IDBC Vice-Chairman First Admiral Nouldy J. Tangka, and other Indonesian delegates participated via Video Teleconference in Manado City, Indonesia.

During the conference, both committees deliberated on matters of common concern and interest to both countries. This included the review of the proposed amendment to the existing Standing Operating Procedures (SOP) for Border Area Patrol Operations in line with international maritime laws.

They also agreed to explore the possible regularization of the status of undocumented non-citizen Filipino residents in North Sulawesi, Indonesia, and the immigration status of Indonesian descent in Sarangani Province and General Santos City.

Additionally, both parties looked into improving information exchange among their respective law enforcement agencies and security forces. This involves establishing a communication channel to ensure a prompt response to potential threats and efficiently prevent and mitigate transnational crimes.

Likewise, they decided to enhance the security features of Border Crossing Cards used by border crossers to prevent the illegal entry of foreign nationals that might pose threats to the security of both countries.

Other topics discussed included the review of the 1975 Border Patrol and Border Crossing Agreement, resumption and improvement of operations of Border Crossing Stations, involvement of maritime agencies in PHIL-INDO Coordinated Patrol Operations, and establishment of the Indonesia-Philippines Border Operational Community.

During the program, FAdm. Tangka underscored the importance of mutual respect, trust, and a common understanding among the delegates of both countries to provide solutions to border concerns.

“I have high hopes that the results of our meeting today will contribute to a stronger, closer, and more meaningful partnership between us. We look forward to enhancing cooperation and supporting measures needed by both countries," he said further.

Meanwhile, LtGen. Almerol emphasized the importance of the partnership, display of unity, and cooperation between the Philippines and Indonesia through the 40th Border Committee Chairmen’s Conference.

He also reminded both parties to be vigilant as they face new challenges ahead in securing their territorial boundaries.

“The seas continue to present challenges and new ones may emerge in the future. It is imperative that we remain vigilant and ready to face these challenges together, as partners and as friends. Our shared commitment to maritime security and regional stability must remain steadfast,” he said.

PH-ID BCCC is an annual activity where the Border Committees of the Philippines and Indonesia discuss border-related issues. #

Source: Public Information Office, Eastern Mindanao Command, AFP

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