THE Philippines and Indonesia agreed on Wednesday, January 10, 2024, to boost their cooperation on political and security matters following a meeting between President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Indonesian President Joko Widodo in Malacañang.
Widodo will be in the country for an official state visit until January 11.
“As immediate neighbors and fellow archipelagic states, the Philippines and Indonesia agreed to continue our cooperation on political and security matters, noting the recently concluded Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) headed by our respected foreign ministers,” Marcos said during a joint press conference.
“Our shared historic roots are deep, and thank you to our close kinship and our cultural ties, that we continue to promote, and we continue to allow to prosper, the Philippines and Indonesia enjoy this affinity for one another,” he added.
The Philippines and Indonesia review accomplishments on mutual collaboration initiatives of the two countries, exchange views on issues of mutual interest, and consider plans for enhancing cooperation through the JCBC.
Included under the JCBC is the progress in the implementation of the bilateral priorities in the Philippines-Indonesia Plan of Action 2022-2027, which Widodo and Marcos signed on the sidelines of the Philippine President’s state visit to Indonesia in September 2022.
The Plan of Action covers multifaceted cooperation in political and security, border issues, regional and global issues, economic cooperation, sociocultural and people-to-people exchange, and judicial and consular matters between the Philippines and Indonesia.
For his part, Widodo reiterated the importance of the revisions of the Border Patrol Agreement and Border Crossing Agreement, the Settlement of Continental Shelf Boundaries, and the strengthening of defense cooperation including defense equipment in a bid to further strengthen the two country’s border cooperation.
He said Indonesia and Philippines also agreed to continue open market access in order to enhance trade as he sought the Philippines’ support related to special safeguard measures for Indonesian coffee products.
Meanwhile, Widodo and Marcos also agreed to strengthen their ties in terms of defense and security, trade and infrastructure development amid various regional challenges.
Marcos raised the need for Indonesia and Philippines to remain united to discuss the current regional challenges.
“As neighbors, we must remain united in addressing the many challenges that our region now faces,” he told Widodo.
“As you will soon conclude your second term as President of the Republic of Indonesia, I commend your visionary leadership and your strong commitment to promoting and enhancing the long-standing and close ties between the Philippines and Indonesia,” he added.
Widodo said he is hoping that the action plan of the two neighboring countries will be followed up with concrete steps to strengthen collaboration. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)