Study of Disputed Sea Proposed

Article excerpt

Two administration lawmakers want government to create a Center for West Philippine to conduct a study on the basis of the claims of the country over the waters and islands being disputed by at least five Asian countries and the Philippines.

In filing House Bill 6457, Reps. Rufus Rodriguez (PMP, Cagayan de Oro City) and Maximo Rodriguez Jr. (Abantge Mindanao partylist) underscored the importance of establishing the CWP that will be attached to the Department of Foreign Affairs.

The two lawmakers said the Center will study the legal and historical claims of the country over the disputed areas in relation to the United Nations Convention on the law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and other international and local laws.

They said the Center will be tasked to propose actions and measures that will defend the country's sovereignty and patrimony.

Under the bill, the new agency will be under the Office of Special and Ocean Concerns of the DFA.

HB 6457 tasks the Center to prepare concrete plans on how to develop and fully utilize all natural resources in the area and perform other duties and responsibilities that would strengthen sovereignty and other claims over the area. …