DIAMOND HOTEL, Manila (DWDD) – The Philippine Navy (PN) hosted the Maritime Security Symposium to raise awareness on maritime security and to contribute to the discourse of regional cooperation on Wednesday, May 10 at the Diamond Hotel Manila.
The said symposium was attended by high-level government officials from the various departments and agencies, former government officials, senior officers from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, members of the academe, members of the Foreign Armed Forces Attaché Corps and heads of various think tanks and research institutions. Invited subject-matter experts were Dr. Shafiah Muhibat of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) in Singapore, Dr. Carlyle Thayer of the University of South Wales, Australia, Dr. Aileen S.P. Baviera of UP Asian Center and Dr. Charmaine Willoughby of De La Salle University.
The event was an affirmation of the PN’s commitment to protect the seas in order to secure the nation’s future. Since the Philippines is chairing the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) this year, the PN opted to cover the topic of an ASEAN-centric maritime security community in support of the Philippine’s thematic priority of promoting maritime security cooperation.
In a time of rapid geopolitical developments in the region, navies are expected to be at the helm of maintaining peace and order in the seas. Amidst various maritime threats exacerbated by various territorial and maritime disputes, navies are at the forefront of upholding the commitments and interests of each country; hence, cooperation has become pivotal in preserving peace and stability, particularly in Southeast Asia. The current maritime dynamics in the ASEAN region calls for a special focus on maritime security as a regional goal. The Philippines, as Chair of ASEAN, expressed its commitment to key issues such as protection and preservation of marine resources, promotion of maritime security, and upholding international law.
Earlier this year, President Rodrigo Duterte launched the Philippine Chairmanship of the ASEAN in Davao City, mentioning that maritime security and cooperation in the region is a thematic priority under the country’s leadership. NPAO / MCAG
VADM RONALD JOSEPH S MERCADO AFP conversing with one of the speakers of the #MSS17, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies fellow Shafiah Fifi Muhibat, PhD