SENATOR Francis “Tol” Tolentino said on Thursday that he is confident that the Maritime Zones Act will be passed by new year, in January 2024.
“Sa tantiya ko ay baka first month of next year, ma-approve na ito,” the bill’s sponsor said during his NET 25 show.
Tolentino stressed that the measure has ample support from his fellow legislators in both chambers.
“Palagay ko naman ay makakapasa sa dami po ng nag-co-sponsor. Suportado po ito maging ng Senate President. At pasado na po ito sa House,” Sen. Tol added.
The Chairman of Senate Maritime and Admiralty Zones further emphasize that the bill, when enacted into law, will allow the Philippines to fully enforce maritime laws and enjoy its rights over its territory.
“Kapag ito ay naipasa, effectively maipapakita natin na ito talaga ang mapa natin, boundary natin, na di maliwanag ngayon dahil wala tayong batas,” said Tolentino.
He added: “Kapag ito ay naging batas, kikilalanin ito ng mga karatig-bansa natin. Baka may mga ibang bansa diyan na di ito kikilalanin pero dagdag-sandata ito sa pakikipag-usap sa iba’t-ibang bansa na ‘ito ang aming boundary. Ito ang aming soberanya. Ito ang aming nasasakupan’.”
The lawmaker further concluded that when passed into law, the Maritime Zones Act will be sent to the United Nations, United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) Secretariat, and the International Maritime Organization.