MANILA The Department of National Defense (DND) is pursuing an approach that is "calibrated, comprehensive, and constructive, and one that espouses peace and diplomacy" in securing the country's vast maritime areas, an official said.
This strategy will allow the country to cope with the vulnerability of the Philippines' maritime security because of its geographical structure and heavy involvement in the growing regionalization and geopolitical conflict in the Indo-Pacific, said DND Undersecretary Cardozo M. Luna, who represented Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana during the 146th Maritime Forum held at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City on Thursday.
Since its institutionalization in 1995, the maritime forum hosted by the Philippine Coast Guard remains as a platform for the Maritime League's timely, collaborative, and productive session on the country's maritime concerns.
Luna also espoused the relevance of multilateralism through the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) in the negotiation of the Declaration on the Code of Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and strengthening the Trilateral Cooperative Agreement with Malaysia and Indonesia.
Our country is capitalizing on the strong alliance of the Asean, which consistently espouses regional and multilateral cooperation and discussions, he noted.
The defense official said this is essential, considering the Philippines' permeable borders and vast maritime domain and competing claims in the West Philippine Sea, which was branded as a top maritime concern.
These situations have prompted the Philippines to "pursue functional cooperation with China while securing our national territory, sovereignty, and other claimant-countries which we remain faithful in securing our national territory, sovereignty, sovereign rights over our maritime claims and entitlements," he added.
We need to acknowledge that our country cannot do it alone as maritime security is innately transnational and cross-jurisdictional," Luna said.
He added that the whole-of-nation approach to attain international peace and security and collaborative and coordinated efforts to safeguard our national sovereignty, territorial integrity and national interest" highlight and strengthen inter-agency defense posture for maritime security in light of the global importance of Philippine waters. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency