Czech Republic proposes marine vessels to Philippines to secure their territorial waters

According to information published by the Philippine Daily Inquirer on October 25, 2023, the Czech Republic has proposed a supply of marine vessels to the Philippines to aid in securing its territorial waters.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Screenshot of a collision between a Chinese and a Philippine vessel in October 2023. (Picture source: Philippine Army)

During the meeting, President Marcos acknowledged the timely offer from the Czech Republic, considering the increasing challenges the Philippines faces in safeguarding its maritime domains. He emphasized the importance of fortified alliances in addressing not only the maritime concerns of the Philippines but also the broader Indo-Pacific region.

The Palace mentioned the Czech Republic's capability in manufacturing various defense materials, indicating the potential of a strengthened defense partnership between the two nations.

Furthermore, Ambassador Hejč extended an invitation to President Marcos to visit the Czech Republic, providing an opportunity to delve into the Czech defense industries' offerings that could be beneficial to the Philippine Armed Forces and Coast Guard.

This interaction unfolds at a critical juncture, following a recent incident in the West Philippine Sea where Philippine boats were hit by Chinese vessels during a resupply mission to the BRP Sierra Madre.


Historical events such as the 2012 Scarborough Shoal standoff, the 2019 Reed Bank incident, and the frequent maritime encroachments have kept the Philippines on high alert.

In 2012, a naval standoff culminated in a tense scenario when China seized the Scarborough Shoal post a storm, defying a bilateral agreement to withdraw from the site. The tensions further exacerbated with incidents like the Reed Bank episode in 2019, where a Chinese ship rammed and sank a Philippine fishing vessel, leaving the fishermen adrift.

The South China Sea region has been a hotbed for territorial disputes, especially around the Spratly Islands, where sovereignty claims over certain islands and shoals have led to diplomatic and maritime confrontations. Despite rounds of consultations and agreements for joint marine seismic undertakings since 2004, the disputes have intensified over the years.