Duterte signs EO changing name of Benham Rise to Philippine Rise
President Rodrigo Duterte already signed on Monday the Executive Order (EO) officially changing the name of Benham Rise, a 25-million hectare shallow continental shelf east of the main island of Luzon, to Philippine Rise.
“I, Rodrigo Roa Duterte, President of the Republic of the Philippines, by virtue powers vested in me by the Constitution and existing laws, do hereby order the change of name (of Benham Rise). The undersea feature presently known as Benham Rise in local and international maps and charts shall henceforth be referred to as Philippine Rise,” Duterte said in the EO.
It was just earlier this month when Agriculture Chief Emmanuel Piñol suggested to Duterte the renaming of Benham Rise to emphasize the country’s ownership of the vast continental shelf.
Of the 25-million hectares of the now Philippine Rise, 13-million hectares are part of the Philippine Exclusive Economic Zone, which means that only Filipinos are supposed to fish in the area, while the remaining 12-million hectares is included in the Extended Continental Shelf (ECS).
While the Philippine Rise is part of the country’s territorial waters, Taiwanese Long Line Fishing Boats have been competing with Filipino fishermen who only use hand lines to catch Tuna and other big fish species.
The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), an agency under DA, earlier sought the inclusion of an initial budget of P5 billion for the protection and conservation of Philippine Rise.