Press Release
August 13, 2023

Gatchalian bats for designation of PH sea lanes amid heightened WPS tension

Senator Win Gatchalian has filed a bill that seeks to establish the country's archipelagic sea lanes amid heightened tensions between the China Coast Guard and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) at the West Philippine Sea following the former's malicious maneuvers that include the use of water cannon against PCG vessels on a resupply mission.

"It is critical and imperative that we pass legislation that would designate the country's archipelagic sea lanes to protect the country's national security, and economic and environmental interests, particularly in the West Philippine Sea," Gatchalian said as he filed Senate Bill 2395 known as the Philippine Archipelagic Sea Lanes Act.

"Kailangan nating siguruhin na mapoprotektahan ang seguridad at soberanya ng bansa kabilang ang kapakanan ng mga kababayan nating mangingisda na pumapalaot sa ating karagatan sa West Philippine Sea," he added.

Existing laws already aligned the country's archipelagic baseline system with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), to which the Philippines is a signatory, according to Gatchalian.

Aside from the establishment of archipelagic sea lanes in Philippine archipelagic waters, the measure also seeks to protect the country's ecological integrity by prohibiting fishing, marine bioprospecting, exploitation of marine resources, unauthorized research and survey statistics, and dumping of wastes and other noxious substances.

If enacted into law, the proposed measure, among others, will prohibit foreign ships or aircraft from conducting unauthorized research and survey activities as well as fishing, marine bioprospecting, loading, and unloading of persons, goods, or currency.

Gatchalian emphasized that the proposed measure supports UNCLOS which recognizes the sovereignty of the archipelagic states over its archipelagic waters, the air space above them, the seabed and subsoil below them, and the resources contained therein. UNCLOS also affords all ships and aircraft archipelagic sea lanes which may be designated by the archipelagic state.

The Senate recently adopted a resolution urging the Department of Foreign Affairs to bring to international attention China's harassment of Filipino fishermen in the Philippine exclusive economic zone.

The 2016 arbitral ruling invalidated China's claims to historic rights and resources within its nine-dash line. It also confirmed China's violation of the Philippines' sovereign rights over the disputed area as well as its marine environmental protection obligations under the UNCLOS.


Gatchalian: Isulong ang pagtatalaga ng PH sea lanes sa gitna ng tensyon sa WPS

Naghain si Senador Win Gatchalian ng panukalang batas na naglalayong itatag ang archipelagic sea lane sa bansa sa gitna ng tumitinding tensyon sa pagitan ng China Coast Guard at Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) sa West Philippine Sea kasunod ng malisyosong maniobra kamakailan ng China Coast Guard kung saan gumamit pa ang mga ito ng water cannon laban sa mga sasakyang pandagat ng PCG habang ito'y nasa isang resupply mission.

"Mahalagang magpasa tayo ng batas na magtatalaga sa mga archipelagic sea lanes para sa pambansang seguridad at para maprotektahan ang interes ng bansa sa ekonomiya at kapaligiran, lalo na sa West Philippine Sea," sabi ni Gatchalian sa kanyang inihaing Senate Bill 2395 o ang Philippine Archipelagic Sea Lanes Act.

"Kailangan nating siguruhin na mapoprotektahan ang seguridad at soberanya ng bansa kabilang ang kapakanan ng mga kababayan nating mangingisda na pumapalaot sa ating karagatan sa West Philippine Sea," dagdag ng senador.

Inihanay na ng mga umiiral na batas ang archipelagic baseline system ng bansa sa 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), na nilagdaan ng Pilipinas, ayon kay Gatchalian.

Bukod sa pagtatatag ng mga archipelagic sea lanes, ang panukala ay naglalayon din na protektahan ang ecological integrity ng bansa sa pamamagitan ng pagbabawal sa pangingisda, marine bioprospecting, pagsasamantala sa mga yamang dagat, hindi awtorisadong pananaliksik at pagsasagawa ng survey statistics, at pagtatapon ng mga basura at iba pang nakalalasong substance.

Sa oras na maisabatas, ang naturang panukala ay magbabawal sa mga dayuhang barko o sasakyang panghimpapawid na magsagawa ng hindi awtorisadong pananaliksik at survey activities, gayundin ang pangingisda, marine bioprospecting, loading at unloading ng mga indibidwal, mga bilihin, o pera.

Binigyang-diin ni Gatchalian na ang panukalang batas ay sumusuporta sa UNCLOS na kumikilala sa soberanya ng archipelagic waters at sa mga resources na nakapaloob dito.

Kamakailan lang ay pinagtibay ng Senado ang isang resolusyon na humihimok sa Department of Foreign Affairs na magsagawa ng aksyon para mabigyang pansin ng ibang mga bansa ang panggigipit ng China sa mga mangingisdang Pilipino sa exclusive economic zone ng Pilipinas.

Pinawalang bisa ng 2016 arbitral ruling ang pag-angkin ng China sa historic rights at resources na nasa loob ng nine-dash line nito. Kinumpirma rin ng arbitral ruling ang paglabag ng China sa mga sovereign rights ng Pilipinas sa pinagtatalunang lugar gayundin ang mga obligasyon nito sa marine environmental protection sa ilalim ng UNCLOS.

News Latest News Feed