NAMRIA, a Hydrographic Survey Officer and Benham Rise

Manila Bulletin, April 29, 2018 | Go to article overview

NAMRIA, a Hydrographic Survey Officer and Benham Rise


By Gilbert S. Gaviola

Thanks to the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA), its hydrographers and other dedicated commissioned officers, the Philippines firmed up its claim on the natural resource-rich Benham Rise off the eastern seaboard of Luzon.

NAMRIA? Hydrographers?

NAMRIA

One of NAMRIA's core functions is the delineation of the maritime boundaries of the Philippines.

The agency was responsible for the establishment of the Philippine archipelagic baselines which were enacted into law in 2009.

The agency also led the preparation and successful defense of the country's submission to the United Nations for an extended continental shelf in the Benham Rise Region.

Benham Rise

"The agency also led the preparation and successful defense of the country's submission to the United Nations for an extended continental shelf in the Benham Rise region," said Lt. Commander Antonio Valenzuela Jr., a NAMRIA Commissioned Officer presently assigned at Survey Support Division (SSD) of the Hydrography Branch (HB).

In 2009, NAMRIA conducted hydrographic surveys at Benham Rise and developed a bathymetric model which served as the basis for the Extended Continental Shelf (ECS) claim.

(http://www.denr.gov.ph/news-and-features/features/865- benham-rise-how-the-shelf-was-won.html)

Hydrographer

"The duties of a Hydrographic Survey Officer include geodetic survey, hydrographic survey, physical oceanographic observation, nautical charting and marine cartography, navigation officer and administrative functions among others," Sir Tony shared.

"Functions may also include gathering, analyzing and reporting hydrographic, oceanographic, environmental and technological information and other events and developments; drafting technical notes and correspondence and working with other government agencies, international organizations and private groups in promoting NAMRIA survey activities or carrying out collaborative projects."

"They shall take the responsibilities of an Officer-in-Charge to any field survey party or handle/manage survey vessel operations."

Safe navigation

"Our main function is to acquire and analyze hydrographic and oceanographic data to be used in promoting navigational safety and oceanographic research."

Its outputs include nautical charts, electronic navigational charts, tide and current tables, list of lights and other maritime publications.

Maritime boundaries, sustainable fishing

NAMRIA determines the different maritime zones, delineating them in accordance with domestic laws and the UNCLOS and works closely with the Department of Foreign Affairs when it comes to maritime boundary issues. …

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