Press Release
September 16, 2023

Gatchalian: Law on PH maritime zone needed to strengthen defense posture in West PH Sea

Senator Win Gatchalian is pushing for the enactment of a legislation that would establish Philippine maritime zones saying this would strengthen and help enforce the country's claim over the West Philippine Sea, as affirmed by a 2016 arbitral ruling.

Gatchalian made this emphasis following a hearing conducted by the Senate Special Committee on Philippine Maritime and Admiralty Zones.

Such measure, once enacted, will be reinforcing the 2106 landmark arbitral victory that the Philippines secured against China. The ruling invalidated Beijing's so-called nine-dash line claim over the West Philippine Sea.

"Taking legal cognizance of the arbitral ruling is our best defense and the loudest message we can send around the world that we are asserting our sovereignty and our sovereign rights," the senator said.

Gatchalian recently filed Senate Bill 2394, or The Philippine Maritime Zones Act, intended to clearly define the country's maritime zones, harmonizing domestic laws on maritime territory with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

"In effect, the 2016 arbitral ruling will be enshrined in our laws and this is going to be one of the strongest signals to the world that we are asserting sovereignty and asserting our exclusive economic zone and our sovereign rights in the region," Gatchalian emphasized.

According to him, declaring the country's maritime zone boundaries would mean the country would be fortifying the geographical extent of its maritime domain. He further stressed that enactment of local laws would enforce the country's compliance with UNCLOS and thus enable the country to enjoy the rights and benefits of the convention.

Under the measure proposed by Gatchalian, the country's maritime zones will comprise the internal waters, archipelagic waters, territorial sea, contiguous zone, exclusive economic zone (EEZ), and continental shelf in accordance with international law.

To enhance the Philippines' national security and protect its economic and environmental interests, Gatchalian has also recently filed another bill seeking the designation of the country's archipelagic lanes.


Gatchalian: Batas sa PH maritime zone kailangan para palakasin ang pagdepensa sa West PH Sea

Itinutulak ni Senador Win Gatchalian ang pagpapatibay ng batas na magtatatag ng mga maritime zone sa Pilipinas dahil magpapalakas ito sa karapatan ng bansa sa West Philippine Sea, na pinagtibay ng isang 2016 arbitral ruling.

Binigyang-diin ito ni Gatchalian kasunod ng pagdinig na isinagawa ng Senate Special Committee on Philippine Maritime and Admiralty Zones.

Ang naturang panukala, kapag naisabatas, ay magpapatibay sa 2106 landmark arbitral victory na nakuha ng Pilipinas laban sa China. Pinawalang-bisa ng desisyon ang pag-aangkin ng Beijing sa tinaguriang nine-dash line sa West Philippine Sea.

"Ang ligal na pagkilala sa arbitral ruling ay ang pinakamahusay na depensa at ang pinakamalakas na mensahe natin sa buong mundo na iginigiit natin ang ating soberanya at ang ating mga karapatan," sabi ng senador.

Kamakailan ay inihain ni Gatchalian ang Senate Bill 2394, o The Philippine Maritime Zones Act, na naglalayong tukuyin ang mga maritime zone ng bansa, at itugma ang mga batas ng bansa sa maritime territory na nasa ilalim sa 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

"Pagtitibayin ng ating mga batas ang 2016 arbitral ruling at ito ang magiging isa sa pinakamalakas na senyales sa mundo, na iginigiit natin ang ating soberanya at iginigiit natin ang ating eksklusibong economic zone at ang ating mga karapatan sa rehiyon," diin ni Gatchalian.

Ayon sa kanya, ang pagdedeklara ng ating maritime zone boundaries ay nangangahulugan na pagtitibayin ng bansa ang geographical extent ng maritime domain nito. Binigyang-diin pa ng senador na ang pagtatatag ng mga lokal na batas ay magpapatupad ng pagsunod ng bansa sa UNCLOS upang matamasa ng bansa ang mga karapatan at benepisyo ng naturang convention.

Sa ilalim ng panukalang batas ni Gatchalian, ang mga maritime zone ng bansa ay binubuo ng internal waters, archipelagic waters, territorial sea, contiguous zone, exclusive economic zone (EEZ), at continental shelf alinsunod sa international law.

Upang mapahusay ang pambansang seguridad ng Pilipinas at protektahan ang mga interes sa ekonomiya at kapaligiran nito, kamakailan ay naghain din si Gatchalian ng isa pang panukalang batas na naglalayong italaga ang archipelagic lanes ng bansa.

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