Indonesia, Philippines sign 10 border agreements

Surabaya, E. Java, (ANTARA News) - The Governments of Indonesia and the Philippines have signed 10 agreements related to the border of the two neighboring countries.

The agreements were signed at a chairman meeting of the Indonesian and Philippine Border Committee here on Wednesday night, Indonesian chief delegate to the meeting represented by Commodore Achmad Heri, the commander of the Navy Base III, said after the meeting.

"We discussed 13 items related to border issue between Indonesia and the Philippines, but only 10 agreements were reached and have been signed," Heri said.

He said the meeting of the committee is routine every year between the two ASEAN countries, adding,"this time was the 38th."

He said the 10 items agreed upon in the 38th session of the Committee were related to immigration, customs and excise, quarantine and security in border areas.

"There are still three items on which agreement have yet to be reached. They are more crucial related to immigration in a number of certain border areas. The issues will be discussed later in the next committee meeting," he said.

Heri gave no names of the border areas considered more vulnerable to illegal penetration by people from Indonesia and the Philippines.

"In principle, the session of the committee will discuss how people of both sides could visit each other so easily to reduce possible problem between the two communities," he said.

Philippine chief delegate Commander of the Eastern Mindanao Command (EMC) It.Gen. Benjamin R Madrigal Junior said all border areas between Indonesia-Philippines are crucial.

"Indeed, there are a number of border areas very vulnerable to illegal penetration by both people from Indonesia and the Philippines, but I think all border areas between Indonesia and the Philippines area crucial," the general said.

Therefore, it is necessary to discuss and reach an agreement on a standard operational procedure in handling issues related to the border between the two countries, he said.

"We have mutual respect for the national territories of both Indonesia and the Philippines . For that we need to work together to create a standard operational procedure for both communities in crossing the border," he said.

Source: ANTARA News

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