THE Philippine and Indonesian governments have agreed to implement the deal which delineates the boundary between the overlapping exclusive economic zones (EEZ) of the two countries.

The agreement, signed in May 2014, delimits the overlapping EEZs of both states. The Philippine Senate ratified the agreement on June 3.

On the sidelines of the 52nd ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. and his Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi signed the Protocols of Exchange of the instruments of ratification.

“The Agreement is expected to benefit both countries, economically and politically, by promoting more bilateral cooperation in the EEZ in order to advance the common interest of managing and preserving the resources in the EEZ and further strengthening maritime security cooperation between the two countries,” said the Department of Foreign Affairs in a statement release late Thursday, Aug. 1.

The agreement was ratified by President Rodrigo R. Duterte on February 2017 and by the Indonesian Parliament on April of the same year.

The Philippine Senate concurred the President’s ratification in June this year.

“Wide overlaps in the EEZ of the Philippines and Indonesia, which run across the Mindanao Sea and Celebes Sea, and in the southern section of the Philippine Sea in the Pacific Ocean, required the two countries to negotiate and agree on a shared boundary,” the statement read.

As parties to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, Philippines and Indonesia are entitled to EEZs of 200 nautical miles. — Vince Angelo C. Ferreras