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PHL, Indonesia agree to work together to tackle regional challenges

President Bongbong Marcos and Indonesia President Joko Widodo with their respective delegations during a bilateral meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024./PCO/

(Eagle News)–The Philippines and Indonesia have agreed to work together to tackle regional challenges, the Presidential Communications Office said.

According to the PCO, in particular, the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the field of energy, with another MOU on science and technology nearing completion.

Indonesia President Joko Widodo, who is on a three-day official visit to the Philippines, also committed to working hand in hand with the Philippines on defense and security, trade, as well as infrastructure development.

“I’m delighted about positive progress about implementation of our two countries’ action plan which need to be followed up with concrete steps to strengthen collaboration, especially in two areas of cooperation,” he said in his opening statement during a bilateral meeting with President Bongbong Marcos.

The Indonesian President also welcomed the strengthening of cooperation on border security, although some issues, he said, need to be resolved.

These include the need to expedite the Revision of Border Crossing Agreement and Border Patrol Agreement of 1975, and the discussion on the settlement of continental boundaries.

The Indonesian leader also sought President Marcos’ support for the Philippines’ purchase of new warfare aircraft for the Philippine Navy from Indonesia, and asked help to expedite the groundbreaking of the North-South Commuter Railway Project, a joint venture of Indonesia and the Philippines.

In terms of economy, Widodo said Indonesia is committed to keeping market access open for Philippines’ agriculture commodities.

“As neighbors, we must remain united in addressing the many challenges that our region now faces,” President Marcos said.

“(A)s you will soon conclude your second term as President of the Republic of Indonesia, I commend your visionary leadership and your strong commitment to promoting and enhancing the long-standing and close ties between the Philippines and Indonesia,” he added.

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