MANILA, Philippines – ISINASAPINAL na ng mga gobyerno ng Canada at Pilipinas ang memorandum of understanding (MOU) ukol sa defense cooperation.
Layon nito na palakasin ang maritime capabilities ng Pilipinas para tugunan ang regional challenges.
Sa isang panayam, nagpahayag ng kanyang kumpiyansa si Canadian Ambassador David Hartman na mapipirmahan ang MOU sa lalong madaling panahon.
Hindi naman ito nagbigay ng eksaktong timeline, subalit sinabing kumpiyansa siya sa positibong progreso ng negosasyon.
“I’m very optimistic that it will be signed in a not so distant future. I’ll be candid with you and we have been negotiating this for some time,” ayon kay Hartman.
Ani Hartman, ang MOU ay hindi magiging isang tratado o isang legally-binding document – kundi isa itong manipestasyon ng “the government of Canada wanting to collaborate with the government of the Philippines, with the Armed Forces and other stakeholders to exchange best practices, train together, exchange technology and shared military exercises.”
Bilang isa sa pinakamalaking “maritime country” sa buong mundo, sinabi ng Canada na makapagbibigay ito ng maraming expertise o kadalubhasaan sa maritime activities at teknolohiya.
“We have three coasts, the Atlantic, Arctic and the Pacific. We have a tremendous amount of world class technologies that we are keen to develop opportunity here,” ayon kay Hartman.
“In the area of maritime issues, we have a lot of high-end technologies, satellite-based technologies, and augmenting the Philippines’ maritime domain for the protection of your exclusive economic zone, territorial waters, fisheries and these are the technologies we help distribute elsewhere in the world,” dagdag na wika nito.
Samantala, sinabi ni Hartman na itinutulak ng Ottawa ang coast guard-to-coast guard cooperation sa Pilipinas.
“Our coast guard is very similar to here in the Philippines, they are intended to help facilitate the free flow of commerce, international maritime traffic and that is an area where we have advanced discussions. Basically help the Philippines increase capacity to police, enforce, and protect your own maritime coasts,” aniya pa rin. Kris Jose