- Pres. Duterte formally send off 50 Filipino scientists to the Philippine Rise Zone on Tuesday
- The program is part of the anniversary celebration of the 13-million-hectare exclusive Philippine marine zone, which was acknowledged by United Nations in 2012
On Tuesday, May 15, President Rodrigo Duterte bid farewell to around 50 Filipino scientists to an area within the Philippine Sea officially called the Philippine Rise (or Benham Rise); a seismically-active undersea region with extinct volcanic ridge from Aurora province to begin in-depth research in the resource-rich territory.
As disclosed by Inquirer, the Armed Forces’ Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom) announced Monday, May 14, that the Pres. Duterte, together with Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian and some members of Congress, are going to formally initiate the send-off as part of the anniversary of the 13-million-hectare seamount Philippine Rise, which was first declared and acknowledged by the United Nations in 2012 as part of the country’s food supply exclusive economic zone.
The momentous event, which started on Monday, includes the launching of a buoy which would serve as a floating marker at the shallowest point of the marine region. It will serve as a guide to air patrols in the region.
On June 12, 2017, Nolcom installed a metallic underwater Philippine flag and a marker 70-feet below sea level to assert that the underwater plateau is part of the country’s territory.
Nolcom chief Lt. Gen. Emmanuel Salamat reaffirmed that they remain “committed to its mandate of protecting our people and securing our sovereign territory within its area of responsibility that includes the vast Northern Maritime area covering the Bajo De Masinloc, Luzon Strait and Philippine Rise. ”