- The Chinese vessel that will conduct marine scientific research in the Benham Rise is now in the country
- The ship arrived two days ahead of its approved schedule to conduct the research
- The scientific research will be from January 24 up to February 25 this year
Ke Xue Hao, the China’s most sophisticated ship that will conduct marine scientific research in the Benham Rise (officially known as Philippine Rise), has arrived in the country ahead of its approved schedule.
As per Philstar, Magdalo party list Representative Gary Alejano said the Chinese vessel has entered Philippine territory on January 22, two days earlier than the approved schedule of the research which will begin on January 24 and will last until February 25 this year.
The lawmaker urged the government to closely monitor the activities of the Chinese vessel.
“What we should make sure now is the compliance of China to all the requirements demanded by the Philippine government as conditions to the permit issued. In particular, we should be wary of the sharing of information that will be culled from the said expedition. Filipino scientists on board should be given equal access to all results of the research activity,” Alejano said in a statement.
The lawmaker, who was a former member of the Philippine Marines, refuted the statement of the government that Filipinos could not afford to conduct scientific research in the Benham Rise because it is capital intensive.
“It is not because our scientists do not have the ability to conduct research. It is because the government does not allot sufficiently for it,” he said.
“This administration has shown no interest and support on strengthening our presence in Benham. Thus, it has no ascendancy to say that Filipinos cannot conduct research in the area given its lack of support,” Alejano added.