On Friday Jakarta banned all Indonesian-flagged vessels from heading to the Philippines, after a spate of seafarer kidnappings in the Sulu and Celebes seas in recent months, linked to southern Philippine Islamic group Abu Sayyaf.
The move could lead to a shortfall in coal for the Philippines, which sources around 70% of the important raw material from its neighbour, Indonesia.
“The moratorium on coal exports to the Philippines will be extended until there is a guarantee for security from the Philippines government,” said Indonesian foreign minister Retno Marsudi.
“This hijacking issue is a serious matter and cannot be tolerated anymore,” Indonesia’s transport ministry’s water transport director general A. Tonny Budiono said in a statement.
The Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia have jointly vowed to up naval patrols in the effected area, but thus far this has not made for any deterrent with another seven Indonesian seafarers abducted from a tugboat this past week.