Tolentino in disputed WPS areas: Atin to!

May 18, 2024 People's Journal 91 views

IN the absence of any clear enforcement laws and guidelines for the Philippines’ economic and environmental security in disputed territories claimed by China, Senator Francis Tolentino says the Maritime Zones Act, once signed into law, will be a bold statement for the nation, Atin ito!  

Tolentino, the main proponent of the Senate Bill 2492 or the Philippine Maritime Zones Act, unanimously approved in the plenary last February, said his bill would establish “claims and bounds of entitlements, set clear legal parameters for our navy and coastguard in protecting our maritime domain, including underwater resources, which easily runs up to trillions of pesos.”

Defined In the Administrative Order no.29 of then President Aquino, the West Philippine Sea, believed to be potentially abundant with marine resources, as well as oil and gas, covers contested areas west of the country’s archipelago including the Luzon Sea, Kalayaan Island and Scarborough Shoal, known locally as Bajo De Masinloc.

The Philippines scored a victory in the West Philippine Sea dispute after an arbitral ruling favored the country in 2016.

Tolentino, the chairman of the Senate special committee on maritime and admiralty zones, said that “having our maritime zone law will not only immensely help government institutions in harnessing the so-called blue economy potential, it will also bolster our claim in territorial disputes, which also includes our claims to Sabah.”