PHL implementing 3 of 4 economic rights won in WPS Arbitral Ruling

Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano said that the Philippine government is now implementing three of four economic rights the Philippines won in the Arbitral Ruling on the West Philippine Sea.

“We are now implementing three out of the four economic rights that we won (fisheries, environment, safety of life at sea). The fourth one (oil and gas) is being thoroughly reviewed and sincerely considered,” Cayetano said during a a pre-departure press briefing at NAIA Terminal 2 for the 51st ASEAN Ministerial Meeting and Related Meetings in Singapore.

He also said that “joint development is one mechanism of cooperation by countries in areas in dispute, and we will not be the first country to do it.”

“Let me clarify the difference between territorial and sovereign rights (awarded by Arbitral Ruling): territorial rights is not divisible; sovereign rights are economic rights, which is divisible—you can lease it, rent it,” he said.

“The starting point of our negotiations is the Philippine Constitution, and the protection of the environment,” he noted.