“A perpetual legacy” bestowed by the present generation to all future Filipinos. This was how the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA) Deputy Administrator Efren Carandang described the successful validation of the country’s claim to the Philippine Rise to the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS).
In 2012, the United Nations, through recommendations of the CLCS, approved the Philippines’ claim that the Philippine Rise is within the country’s 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone. The Philippines first sought recognition for its claims in April 8, 2009.
“[Philippine Rise recognition by the UN CLCS] will enrich the national patrimony, aside from demonstrating to the international community of nations the country’s strong determination, capability and political will to assert its rights under international law,” Carandang said.
He also called the validation of the Philippine Rise claim as the country’s first successful validation of a claim in accord with the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention (UNCLOS).
“It is a perpetual legacy that this generation has bestowed upon the future generations of Filipinos,” the NAMRIA official added.
The Philippine Rise, comprised of the 200-nautical-mile continental shelf from the baselines of Luzon, extends 118 nautical miles beyond the legal continental shelf limits.
Its main body is like a plateau with its broad crest and steep slopes toward the deep ocean floor of the West Philippine Basin.
Meanwhile, it is comprised of the NAMRIA-discovered Palanan Saddle and the Bicol Saddle.
It has also two prominent spurs: the Narra Spur in the northeast and the Molave Spur in the southeast.
On May 16, 2017, Duterte signed Executive Order No. 25 changing the name of the undersea feature to Philippine Rise.
“The Benham Rise Region is subject to sovereign rights and jurisdiction of the Philippines pursuant to relevant provisions of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, national legislation, and the UNCLOS and applicable international law,” EO 25 stated. PNA