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PH, Indonesia Prepare For Delimitation Of Sea Boundaries

The Philippine and Indonesian governments had recently concluded a preparatory meeting for the delimitation of their continental shelf boundaries, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Tuesday.

The virtual meeting held last October 28 was attended by Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Maria Angela Ponce for the Philippine side and Director Bebeb A.K.N. Djundjunan from the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs- Legal Affairs and Territorial Treaties Office.

The DFA said both sides affirmed the rule of law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, in the delimitation of boundaries.

They also discussed the Principles and Guidelines of the continental shelf boundary delimitation, identification of respective base points, and timeline and structure of future meetings.

“The Philippines and Indonesia are eager to commence and lay down the foundation of the road to achieving another milestone in bilateral relations after the ‘Agreement Concerning the Delimitation of the Exclusive Economic Zone Boundary’ entered into force in 2019,” the DFA said.

The meeting was a follow-through to the agreement to commence discussions on the delimitation made during the 11th Philippines-Indonesia Joint Permanent Working Group on Maritime and Ocean Concerns (JPWG-MOC) last May 2021.

READ: Senate okays PH-Indonesia pact on maritime boundaries

The Philippines and Indonesia have overlapping exclusive economic zones (EEZs) that run across the Mindanao Sea and the Celebes Sea, and in the southern section of the Philippine Sea in the Pacific Ocean, requiring them to negotiate and agree on a shared boundary.

In September 2019, the two nations officially submitted to the United Nations a 2014 agreement establishing the boundary between their overlapping EEZs and respective instruments of ratification.

The agreement was first discussed in June 1994 and was formally signed by the two states in May 2014 in Manila. It was then ratified by President Rodrigo Duterte in February 2017 and by the Indonesian Parliament in April 2017, with Manila completing the two-step domestic procedure when the Philippine Senate concurred with the executive ratification in June 2019. (PNA)

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