PCG briefs Vietnam officials ahead of Marcos’ Hanoi trip | Global News

PCG briefs Vietnam officials ahead of Marcos’ Hanoi trip

By: - Reporter / @NCorralesINQ
/ 05:50 AM January 24, 2024

Philippine Coast Guard spokesperson Capt. Armand Balilo. FILE PHOTO

Philippine Coast Guard spokesperson Capt. Armand Balilo. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Tuesday gave “a comprehensive briefing” to Vietnamese officials on Manila’s engagement and maritime security operations in the West Philippine Sea ahead of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s visit to Hanoi next week.

Manila and Hanoi are among the claimants in areas of the South China Sea, including the Spratly Islands. An estimated $5 trillion in annual trade passes the resource-rich waterway.


The briefing at the PCG headquarters in Manila was held during its meeting with Vietnam’s Standing Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Minh Vu and Ambassador to the Philippines Dr. Lai Thai Binh.


The officials also discussed the proposed memorandum of understanding (MOU) in maritime cooperation which the PCG and the Vietnam Coast Guard (VCG) have been working on since 2018.

PCG spokesperson Rear Adm. Armand Balilo confirmed to the Inquirer on Tuesday that this MOU would be signed during Mr. Marcos’ visit to Hanoi, his second foreign trip this year after Brunei.

Canada, Japan

The MOU “aims to enhance the strategic partnership and cooperation between the PCG and VCG toward the promotion, preservation, and protection of their mutual interest in the Southeast Asian region,” the PCG said.

An Inquirer report, citing the final draft MOU, said the agreement would allow Manila and Hanoi to better manage conflicts in the South China Sea “in accordance with principles of international law, the national laws of each party, and international conventions to which both Vietnam and Philippines are parties.”

Aside from the MOU with Vietnam, the Philippines last week signed an MOU on defense cooperation with Canada, which could later pave the way for a Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between the two countries.

The Philippines and Japan are also working on their Reciprocal Access Agreement for the same purposes. Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. told reporters earlier that the signing of that agreement could happen “within the first quarter” of this year.


The country has an existing VFA with the United States and Australia.

In November last year, the President said the Philippines was working on a separate code of conduct in the South China Sea with neighboring countries such as Malaysia and Vietnam, as he noted that a regional code of conduct with China has not been progressing.

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“We are still waiting for the code of conduct between China and Asean and the progress has been rather slow unfortunately,”  Marcos said at a forum at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in Honolulu, Hawaii.

TAGS: Armand Balilo, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., PH-Vietnam relations, Phiippine Coast Guard

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