PH, US begin 3-day joint patrols in West PH Sea

The Philippines and the United States have begun their joint maritime and air patrols in the contested West Philippine Sea, President Marcos announced on Tuesday, Nov. 21.

PCG_West PH Sea.jpgPersonnel of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) increased its presence in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) to assert the country’s territory in celebration of the National Flag Day on May 28, 2021. (Photo courtesy of PCG)


“Today marks the beginning of joint maritime and air patrols— a collaborative effort between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the United States Indo-Pacific Command in the West Philippine Sea,” he wrote in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

The joint patrol, which will run for three days until Thursday, Nov. 23, is a “significant initiative is a testament to our commitment to bolster the interoperability of our military forces in conducting maritime and air patrols.”

“Through collaborative efforts, we aim to enhance regional security and foster a seamless partnership with the United States in safeguarding our shared interests,” Marcos added.

The joint maritime and air patrols are part of the series of events that have been agreed upon by the Mutual Defense Board-Security Engagement Board (MDB-SEB) of both countries.

The MDB-SEB is a framework for security and cooperation, providing an opportunity for the Philippines and US to exchange views on security concerns and plan the range of military activities they will conduct the following year, including the Balikatan exercises which are held annually.

“I am confident that this collaboration will contribute to a more secure and stable environment for our people,” Marcos said.

The latest military cooperation between the two countries came amid China’s increasing aggression in the disputed region, including shooting water cannon at Philippine sea vessels.

It was also announced after Marcos’ visit to the US-Indo Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM) in Hawaii. 

Malacañang said Marcos was the first Philippine president to set foot in the military base.

The USINDOPACOM covers the vast Indo-Pacific, including waters and airspace adjacent to the Philippines.