Press Release
February 26, 2024


Manila - The Senate on Monday, 26 February 2024, passed on third and final reading Senate Bill No. 2492, a landmark piece of legislation sponsored by Senator Francis Tolentino which establishes the Philippine Maritime Zones in compliance with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the 2016 Arbitral Ruling.

The new law sets the archipelagic boundaries, the country's internal waters and exclusive economic zones over which the Philippine Government exercises sovereignty and jurisdiction. Under the measure, the Philippine sovereign rights and jurisdiction over its Exclusive Economic Zone in the West Philippine Sea are highlighted together with the Benham Rise now known as "Talampas ng Pilipinas".

The measure would likewise protect the rights of Filipino fishermen over the vast resources of the West Philippine Sea as well as the untapped energy resources in the area.

The new law serves as the cornerstone of our maritime policy, protecting our sovereignty and addresses our national security needs, according to Sen. Tolentino.

"Within the maritime zones law, we can forge more alliances with other countries, under a rules-based international order in compliance with UNCLOS", added Sen. Tolentino, who said that the law is thirty (30) years in the making.

"Kahit ano pong mangayari ngayon sa Bajo de Masinloc, kahit ano pong mangyari ngayon sa karagatan ng West Philippine Sea, kahit ano po ang mangyari ngayon sa Benham Rise, nakatatak na po sa kasaysayan ang Philippine Maritime Zones Law na magiging bantayog ng ating Kalayaan."

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