Press Release
April 27, 2020

Hontiveros files resolution urging PH to demand payment from China over WPS damage

Note: Attached is the pdf copy of PSR No. 369

Senator Risa Hontiveros on Monday filed a resolution urging the Executive branch to exert legal and diplomatic pressure upon the Chinese government to cease activities in the West Philippine Sea and pay reparation for the damage.

"China's sense of entitlement to our seas has caused severe and irreparable harm to our ecosystems," Hontiveros said upon filing PSR No. 369. "Hindi tayo kolonya, kaya panahon nang singilin ng gobyerno ang Tsina," she added, citing the 2016 ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration that China had breached its obligations with respect to the Philippines' sovereign rights over its continental shelf and exclusive economic zone.

The resolution also stated that continuous unlawful Chinese activities in the West Philippine Sea are estimated to have caused at least PhP33 billion worth of damage annually.

Hontiveros explained that the estimates were computed based on a 2012 study published in the international journal Ecosystem Services, in which the value per hectare of a coral reef was pegged at USD 353,429 while China's damage to reef ecosystems in Panatag and Spratly Islands is at 1,850 hectares.

"For China's damage to our reef ecosystems for at least 6 years, at least 200 billion pesos is owed to the Filipino people," the Senator declared. "If China pays the reparations owed to us, we can further improve our COVID-19 response and help more Filipinos against the disease," she said.

The Senator also claimed that China has taken advantage of the current global pandemic to further its agenda in the region. "China has taken advantage of this global chaos by constructing artificial islands, installations, and structures in our own territory. This aggression must stop immediately," Hontiveros said.

"I urge the government to put Filipinos' interest first. Mga Pilipino muna, bago ang feelings ng China," she concluded.

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