PN, VPN sign 'personnel interaction pact' for Spratlys

March 28, 2012 12:59 am 

MANILA, March 27 — The Philippine Navy (PN) and the Vietnam People's Navy (VPN) signed early this month a standard operating procedure (SOP) regarding personnel interaction at the vicinity of Southeast Cay and Northeast Cay at the Spratlys Chain.

The Northeast Cay is claimed by the Philippines and its 45 kilometers from the Kalayaan Island Group, which is three kilometers away from the Vietnamese-owned Southeast Cay.

The SOP was signed last March 12 but was only revealed to the media Tuesday.

This was done to bolster friendly interactions with the forces stationed in the above-mentioned islands.

The SOP signing was done to make operative the memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the enhancement of mutual cooperation and information sharing between the PN and the VPN signed last October 2011.

Signing the agreements for their respective countries were Vice Admiral Alexander Pama for the Philippines and Admiral Nguyen Van Hien for the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

Pama also assured his counterpart that the PN will give its full support to VPN initiatives such as student visits and participation in interactive naval activities.

Aside from this, both sides have agreed in principle to activate a communication hotline between the operations center of the PN and VPN covering common PN-VPN areas of naval operations, especially for search and rescue.

This includes a proposed conduct of joint maritime patrol in these common maritime domains. (PNA)

scs/lgi/PFN

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