Second Philippines-United States Maritime Dialogue Family photo
Philippine delegation co-led by Ambassador Jose Manuel G. Romualdez and Assistant Secretary Maria Angela A. Ponce, together with the US delegation led by Deputy Assistant Secretary Jung H. Pak of the United States State Department.



21 JULY 2023

Embassy Press and Information Section


WASHINGTON D.C. – At the second Philippines-United States Maritime Dialogue held on 21 July 2023 in Washington DC, the Philippines and the United States agreed to step up maritime policy and operational cooperation, in line with the Joint Statement of President Marcos Jr. and US President Biden “to continue expanding engagement and cooperation on all issues of common concern.”

The Philippine delegation was led by Assistant Secretary for Maritime and Ocean Affairs Maria Angela A. Ponce, together with Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel G. Romualdez. The US delegation was led by Deputy Assistant Secretary Jung H. Pak of the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs of the United States Department of State.

Both sides emphasized their commitment to maintain the rules-based international order in the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea, in line with UNCLOS and the 2016 Arbitral Award. In her opening remarks, Assistant Secretary Ponce underscored that “the rising tensions and critical situation in the West Philippine Sea and the South China Sea and the persistent and evolving challenges to the rules based international order drive us to enhance ways to respond faster, and in a more coordinated and effective manner.”

The two delegations also discussed the broad scope of Philippines-U.S. bilateral maritime cooperation engagements and proposals, including measures to enhance combating transnational crimes at sea, addressing illicit, unreported, and unregulated fishing, and protecting and conserving the marine environment.

The Dialogue included a Track 1.5 session which discussed shared challenges in the South China Sea, including prospects for trilateral maritime cooperation between the Philippines, the U.S. and Japan.

The Maritime Dialogue mechanism was established by the 9th Bilateral Strategic Dialogue (BSD) in 2021. The second iteration of the Maritime Dialogue follows a series of high-level talks between the Philippines and the United States, including President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.’s  working visit to the United States last May.###