PH, India to ensure maritime security, safety of Filipino seafarers

The Philippines and India agreed to forge stronger collaboration in ensuring maritime security amid increased security concerns in the world’s oceans.

During a courtesy call last week of Indian minister of external affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar in Malacañang, President Marcos highlighted the important contribution of Filipino seafarers manning the world’s merchant ships, whether tankers, cruise ships, and other vessels, the Philippine’s presidential communications office said.

The Philippines and India have agreed to work together to ensure maritime security as the world’s oceans are becoming more dangerous to commercial shipping, considering the Philippines’ high stakes in securing Filipino seafarers manning various global sea vessels.

The President stressed that because of the security concerns in the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, and in the Indian Ocean, other nations, such as India and the Philippines, should forge stronger collaboration.

“So, that kind of partnership, we have just rationalized our — the system, the local system for the support of our local seafarers because before it has been a little bit haphazard but now I think we have— we made some sense of it and I think we will be going to be a little bit to a great advantage,”  Marcos said, noting the slowdown in sea traffic means increased costs.

“So, which means we’re ready to join up and if there are opportunities for us to work together. It really is at a crisis point of shipping. And maybe we can find something that we can do together to ease the situation at least a little bit until it becomes — the conflict becomes less heated,” he said.

While India and the Philippines are non-traditional partners in terms of maritime issues, Marcos said “it serves a purpose for us to start a thinking about that, because the world is like that already, very closely connected.”

The Indian official agreed with the President, saying the two countries should start looking for where they can do more to work together, hoping to find new things as they address the global picture.