Philippine navy begins second joint patrol with US in South China Sea

Australia and the Philippines signed last week several memoranda of understanding (MOUs) on the defense, maritime, and cyber security fields.

The two countries signed a memorandum of understanding on enhanced maritime cooperation, strengthening their existing civil and defense maritime commitments.

“Our conversation centered on ways to maximize the enhanced status of relations between our two countries, including on defense, maritime cooperation, trade and investment, development cooperation,” the president of the Republic of the Philippines HE Ferdinand R Marcos Jnr said.

Canberra and Manila also signed an MOU on the cyber and critical technology field to harden their resilience against cyberattacks and encourage cooperation in the digital economy and a deal for cooperation in national competition commissions to enhance effective competition law and policy.

Meanwhile, the prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced a new $20m investment to support the Philippines to reform, and improve access to its justice system.

Prime Minister Albanese and president of the Republic of the Philippines HE Ferdinand R Marcos Jnr reaffirmed the strong relationship Australia and the Philippines share during the president’s first official visit to Australia last week.

President Marcos’ address to a joint sitting of the Australian Parliament highlighted the close cooperation between Australia and the Philippines under their upgraded Strategic Partnership, signed by Leaders last year, and their shared commitment to an open, resilient and prosperous region.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese during his speech in the parliament said “The Philippines is one of Australia’s key partners in Southeast Asia – we share a vision for an open, stable and prosperous region.

“The President’s historic address to the Australian Parliament articulated our shared vision for the region and for the thriving Australia-Philippines relationship.

“Our nations have never been closer, and realising opportunities through our Strategic Partnership will bring great benefits to Australians and Filipinos.

“I look forward to continued discussions with President Marcos at the ASEAN-Australia Summit.”