2017 Updates‎ > ‎

PH-Australia Joint Defense Cooperation Committee Convenes

The Philippines-Australia Joint Defense Cooperation Committee (JDCC) convened in Manila on February 6, 2017. Co-chaired by PH Defense Assistant Raymund Quilop and Australia's First Assistant Secretary Scott Dewar, the two delegations reviewed the progress of defense cooperation between the two countries. Specific cooperative undertakings crafted by the Defense Cooperative Working Group (DCWG) which met in 2016 were approved by the co-chairs.

The Astralian side acknowledged the Philippines high availment of defense education opportunities made available by Australia. Noting the importance of such education exchanges, the Philippine side conveyed that it will continue to send approriate officers to available Australian courses.

The two sides also exchanged views on security challenges that they share in commmon with the Australian side reiterating that while Canberra does not take a position as to which among the claimants own what, Australia is gravely concerned over developments in the area. The Philippine side stressed that the Philippines is committed to the peaceful resolution of the overlapping maritime claims in the South China Sea, clarifying that the government's approach remains anchored on the July 2016 decision of Permanent Court Of Arbitration.

The two sides also updated each other regarding their respective bilateral engagements with major regional powers, specifically the US, China, Japan and Russia.

The Philippines shared its thrust and initiatives for this year (2017) as chair of the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting and solicited Australian support. Australia, for its part, conveyed support noting that it equally shares with the Philippines the advocacy to have a more rational approach on the various meetings and activities of the ADMM.