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A Pathway to Policy Change: Improving Philippine Fisheries, Blue Economy, and Maritime Law Enforcement in the Sulu and Celebes Seas

Release Date: March 31, 2020
Author(s): Topic:
Publication Type: Policy Brief


This policy brief examines how improvements in Philippine fisheries, blue economy, and maritime law enforcement can increase maritime security and governance in the Sulu and Celebes seas. The policy recommendations were generated by civilian experts and military and government officials during a June 2019 workshop in Manila. The workshop, organized by Stable Seas and Asia Pacific Pathways to Progress Foundation, expanded on existing security measures, like the National Coast Watch System, already initiated by the Philippine government. 

Key Findings

  • On the national level, maritime security can be enhanced through making clearer distinctions in agency jurisdiction between maritime enforcement agencies and by improving land-based and sea-based stakeholder coordination. 
  • Assigning more responsibility to local governments is key when implementing and enforcing maritime policies, as they have a more detailed knowledge of the drivers behind illicit activity within the vicinity.
  • Improving engagement between the government and the private sector through government incentives like tax breaks may help diversify the blue economy.