MANILA – The Australian and Philippine governments are working on a new program that would strengthen Manila’s capacity to protect its waters, said Australian Ambassador to Manila Steven J. Robinson AO.
At a dinner he hosted in Makati City on Wednesday, Robinson said the two governments were meeting on October 7 to advance the Philippine Civilian Maritime Security Program (PCMSP) project with Australia.
“So we spoke with a number of different bodies like the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the National Security Council. We are eager to start this as soon as possible because we believe it has significant use for the Philippines, especially on the civilian side, ”he told reporters.
Robinson has already been to Palawan where he met with the Western Military Command and the Philippine Coast Guard and discussed firsthand the challenges they faced and how Australia could support them.
“One of the ways is to expand our engagement in maritime cooperation through a new Philippine Civil Maritime Security Program (PCMSP) which aims to help the Philippines strengthen their civilian maritime security,” he said. declared.
He said the current discussions are centered on different areas, including the protection of coral and marine resources in the country’s waters and the mapping of some of the areas of key importance to Manila in the western Philippine Sea.
The envoy said that the civil maritime cooperation of Canberra and Manila will mainly focus on the following:
– Maritime governance systems, interagency process and coordination.
– Management of natural marine resources and environmental protection.
– Technical assistance, research and workshops.