23 May 2014 - The Republic of the Philippines and the Republic of Indonesia today signed the Agreement Between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Government of the Republic of Indonesia Concerning the Delimitation of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Boundary during the State Visit of His Excellency Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. del Rosario and Indonesian Foreign Minister Dr. R.M. Marty M. Natalegawa signed the Agreement during ceremonies in Malacañan witnessed by President Benigno S. Aquino III and President Yudhoyono.
The Agreement includes the annexed charts showing the EEZ Boundary of the Philippines and Indonesia in the Mindanao Sea and Celebes Sea in the southern Philippines and in the Philippine Sea on the southern section of the Pacific Ocean. It is the result of 20 years of negotiation to delimit the overlapping EEZs of the two countries. The Agreement is a milestone for Philippines-Indonesia relations as the EEZ Boundary will open opportunities for closer cooperation in the preservation and protection of the rich marine environment in the area, increased trade and enhanced maritime security.
The Agreement on the EEZ Boundary was reached on the basis of international law including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the state practice and decisions of international tribunals on maritime boundary delimitation. It is the result of a rules-based negotiation to peacefully resolve maritime issues between two archipelagic states.
This is the first maritime boundary treaty of the Philippines. The EEZ boundary line defines the limits of the sea space in the southern Philippines thereby giving our fishermen and other stakeholders a clear extent of the area where they can exercise the sovereign rights over the waters as provided for by national laws and treaties including the 1982 UNCLOS. The EEZ boundary will also enhance the efforts of government agencies to enforce Philippine fishing, maritime and security laws.
The Agreement is the result of the work of the Philippines-Indonesia Joint Permanent Working Group on Maritime and Oceans Concerns (JPWG-MOC). Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Policy Evan P. Garcia led the Philippine Delegation to the 8th Meeting of the JPWG-MOC on 18 May 2014 in Jakarta where the text of the Agreement and the charts were finalized. Mr. Gilberto G.B. Asuque, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo and Head of the Philippine Technical Working Group on Maritime Boundary Delimitation, and his Indonesian counterpart assisted the JPWG-MOC. The National Mapping and Resources Information Administration of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and its Indonesian counterparts assisted the JPWG-MOC in the preparation of the charts for the EEZ Boundary. Representatives of the Department of Transportation and Communications-Philippine Coast Guard, Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Department of National Defense-Armed Forces of the Philippines (particularly the Philippine Navy), Department of Justice, Department of Energy, DENR, and the Office of the Executive Secretary, are among the major stakeholder agencies that assisted the Philippine negotiators in the series of meetings with Indonesia on the delimitation of the overlapping EEZ. END