Meanwhile, at the ADSOM-Plus meeting held on April 25, the PH delegation headed by Assistant Secretary Raymund Quilop once more stressed that “freedom of navigation” from a Philippine perspective means having Filipino fishermen being allowed to freely navigate through their traditional fishing grounds to earn their living. He also put forth the idea of including non-military vessels under the purview of the Code of Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES) which was adopted in the 2014. The US delegation expressed support to such a proposal which is expected to be likewise taken up by Secretary Gazmin when he takes part in the ADMM next month.
Noting the various requests for informal meetings from ADMM’s dialogue partners, the ADSOM agreed to have the 2015 guidelines for responding to such requests for informal engagements or meetings during the PH Chairmanship of ASEAN in 2017. And given the increasing initiatives both at the ADMM and the ADMM-Plus frameworks, the PH delegation pointed out that reviewing such initiatives, taking stock of their progress and assessing which ought to be pursued is now timely.
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