PH Convenes Joint Defense Committee with India

The Philippine Department of National Defense (DND) convened the inaugural meeting of the Philippines-India Joint Defense Cooperation Committee in Manila. Held on 18 January 2012, the JDCC is meant to bolster defense and security relations between the Philippines and India.

The Philippine and Indian delegations led by Prof. Raymund Jose G. Quilop, Assistant Secretary for Strategic Assessment, and Mrs. Smita Nagraja, Joint Secretary for Planning and International Cooperation, respectively, exchanged views on significant regional security concerns such as the situation in West Philippine Sea and piracy in the Indian Ocean. Each side noted the importance of ensuring that peace, stability, and freedom of navigation is maintained in the West Philippine Sea. Both sides also acknowledged that curbing piracy in the Indian Ocean necessitates the cooperative efforts of the regional community.

The Philippine side informed the Indian delegation of the Philippines’ defense acquisition process while India provided information of its defense industry set-up, noting that both sides could explore further cooperation.

With defense cooperation between the two countries having been formally established through the 2006 Philippines-India Agreement Concerning Defense Cooperation, both sides examined how the relationship has progressed. A Terms of Reference (TOR) of the defense cooperation agreement was initialled at the end of the meeting.