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Philippines, Australia enhance maritime security

(ANN/PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER) – Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr signed three agreements with Australia on Thursday, focusing on maritime domain and maritime environment, cyber and critical technology, and effective competition laws and policies.

In a statement released by Malacañang, Marcos explained that the three agreements were aimed at enhancing information sharing, capability building and interoperability between relevant government agencies in the maritime domain and maritime environment, cyber and critical technology and competition law.

The maritime agreement also seeks to strengthen civil-military cooperation, enhance defence deals, and uphold international law and a rules-based international order. It also underscores the commitment of both countries to protect the marine environment.

Regarding the cyber technology agreement, Australia and the Philippines will share information and promote the digital economy.

The pact on competition laws and policies seeks to facilitate the exchange of best practices on trade, including merger regulations and investigative techniques relevant to implementing competition laws, among others.

This development is particularly significant given the escalating tensions in the South China Sea, where China has been engaging in aggressive actions such as firing water cannons at Philippine vessels.

Recent reports have also highlighted the issue of cyanide fishing in the disputed waters, notably in Bajo de Masinloc, with Chinese fishermen allegedly involved.

Marcos underscored the importance of these agreements, noting that they contribute to the more than 120 agreements signed by the two countries over the years, covering areas such as defense cooperation, air services, education, research, scientific, and cultural cooperation.

PHOTO: ENVATO
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