THE border bodies of the Philippines and Indonesia have agreed to hold more border patrols next year.
At the culmination of the Coordinated Patrol Philippines-Indonesia XXXVI-2022 Wednesday at the SMX Convention Center, Lt. Gen. Greg T. Almerol, commander of the Eastern Mindanao Command and chair of the Philippine Border Committee, and his counterpart in Rear Admiral Dr. TSNB Hutabarat, commander of the Indonesian Navy’s 2nd Fleet Command, bared their programs for next year, including intensified border patrol activities.
“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,” Almerol said.
The coordinated patrol activities between the two neighboring countries aim 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 two countries started the program in March, followed by another activity in Manado City, Indonesia in July. Another one was also held in October before the latest one in the city.
Participating in the latest activity were the BRP Artemio Ricarte PS-37 of the Philippine Navy and the KRI HUI-634 of the Indonesian Navy which held joint patrol and exercises.
Among the accomplishment of the program included the repatriation of 14 Filipinos from Indonesia 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.
At the latest event, Hutabarat expressed his gratitude to all the members of the border committees for their commitment in ensuring the success of the program.
“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.
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