Philippine Rise- shall be the official name of the Benham Rise.
|The Philippine Flag , seen here next to Sarcophyton soft coral one of the many different corals seen in Philippine Rise ( photo credit to OCEANA/UPLB)|
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte signed Execurtive Order No. 25 last May 16- the decree that officially changes the name Benham Rise to Philippine Rise. The name change is geared in further boasting our sovereign right and jurisdiction of that Philippine territory in this part of the globe.
Executive Order No. 25, states that “the undersea feature presently known as ‘Benham Rise’ in local and international maps and charts, shall henceforth be referred to as the ‘Philippine Rise.’”
“In the exercise of its sovereign rights and jurisdiction, the Philippines has the exclusive power to designate its submarine areas with appropriate nomenclature for purposes of the national mapping system,” Pres. Duterte said in the EO.
National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA) was tasked by the President to indicate the name “Philippine Rise”, in lieu of the name Benham Rise, in all official maps and charts of the Philippines.
The Department of Foreign Affairs was also instructed in consultation with NAMRIS and other concerned agencies, by the President, to transmit the appropriate notifications to all international organizations.
The Executive Order stated that:
- -Philippine Rise region as a 24-million hectare area “located within the Philippine exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, as well as the outer limits of the continental shelf in accordance with the recommendations of the Commission on Limits of the Continental Shelf issued on 12 April 2012.”
- “The Benham Rise Region is subject to the sovereign rights and jurisdiction of the Philippines pursuant to relevant provisions of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, national legislation, the Unclos (United Nations Convention on the Law of Sea), and applicable international law,”
The President renamed the region following reports of sightings of Chinese surveillance vessels in the region for three months in the last quarter of 2016. Malacañang has sadi in the press release that the President wanted the change the name to “emphasize the Philippine sovereign rights and jurisdiction over the area”.
Early this month an exploratory trip was done at the shallowest part of the area- “Kalipungawan” (loneliness) as called by the fishermen from Catanduanes, headed by Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol and a group of Filipino scientists which yielded positive results prompting the Sec. Piñol to suggesting it as the country’s next food source.
The area is it is situated about 250 kilometers east of Dinapigue, Isabela, has untapped natural resources and is said to be wider than Luzon, Samar and Leyte combined.