Press Release
February 6, 2018

Sen. Bam welcomes suspension on foreign explorations in Benham, pushes for Senate investigation

Senator Bam Aquino welcomed President Duterte's order a stop to the maritime scientific exploration by foreigners on Benham Rise, but insisted that the government should come up with a sound plan for exploring the 13-million-hectare underwater plateau.

"The President's pronouncement is a welcome development. Now we must determine our policy and plans for Benham Rise," said Sen. Bam, chairman of the Committee on Science and Technology. Sen Bam also expressed hopes that the President will strictly and consistently enforce his order.

Despite Duterte's pronouncement, Sen. Bam said he plans to pursue an investigation and get the input and updates from Filipino scientists about their ongoing research and exploration on Benham Rise, now known as Philippine Rise.

"In a Senate hearing, our scientists and experts will have the opportunity to present their current findings and plans to study and develop the Philippine rise," added Sen. Bam.

It was earlier reported that several Filipino scientists have already conducted maritime research in the area. The probe will give them an avenue to present their research findings and future plans and the necessary equipment and resources to further explore the area.

"Let's support our local scientists in their exploration missions and provide them with the resources they need," said Sen. Bam.

In an earlier statement, Sen. Bam insisted that Filipinos should be the ones to explore Philippine Rise as it forms part of our territory.

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