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PH, India eye closer maritime ties

PRESIDENT Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and India's Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar discussed improving maritime cooperation, including the safety of seafarers manning global vessels.

Marcos thanked the Indian Navy for the rescue of Filipino sailors in the Gulf of Aden, as well as the assistance it has given to the Filipino crew of MV True Confidence, that was attacked by Houthis off the coast of Yemen earlier this month.

«That kind of partnership, we have just rationalized the system, the local system for the support of our local seafarers because before it has been a little bit haphazard, but now I think we made some sense of it, and I think it will be to a great advantage,» Marcos said during Jaishankar's courtesy visit to Malacañang on Tuesday.

The two agreed that because of the security concerns in the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean, nations such as India and the Philippines should forge stronger maritime collaboration.

«We're ready to join up if there are opportunities for us to work together. It really is at a crisis point of shipping. And maybe we can find something that we can do together to ease the situation at least a little bit until the conflict becomes less heated,» Marcos added.

Jaishankar said his country would start looking at how to expedite the maritime cooperation between India and the Philippines.

Almost a quarter of the world's seafarers are Filipinos.


In 2021, the Philippines was reported as the top source of seafarers in the world, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

Maritime Industry Authority data said that the country deployed more than 400,000 Filipino seafarers overseas, on average, from 2016 to 2021.