Co-Sponsorship Speech: Philippine Maritime Zones Act

November 28, 2023

Co-Sponsorship Speech
Senate President Pro Tempore
Loren Legarda

Philippine Maritime Zones Act

Dear Honorable Colleagues,

I rise today to express my strong support for the “Philippine Maritime Zones Act.” I believe that it is our duty to uphold and protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Philippines, especially in the maritime domain.

The Philippines is an archipelagic state with a vast maritime territory that is rich in natural resources and biodiversity. However, our country’s maritime domain is also facing various challenges, such as illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, piracy, and territorial disputes. These challenges threaten not only our economic development but also our national security and sovereignty.

The passage of this bill is crucial in defining the maritime zones under the jurisdiction of the Republic of the Philippines. It will provide a clear legal framework for the allocation of maritime zones to coastal and archipelagic states, as well as the exercise of our sovereign rights and jurisdiction over our maritime domain. Moreover, this bill will strengthen our country’s position in the international community as a responsible coastal and archipelagic state that adheres to international law, particularly the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
As stated in the recent 31st Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum’s Resolution on Strengthening the Capacity of Parliaments to Promote Regional Peace and Stability, we recognize that a maritime regime in the region based on international law, including the UNCLOS, has facilitated our region’s impressive economic growth.

The enactment of this measure will also promote cooperation and collaboration with our neighboring countries in the management and conservation of our shared marine resources.

I urge my fellow senators to support this bill and help safeguard the Philippines’ sovereignty, independence, and security in the maritime domain. Let us work together to ensure that our country’s maritime domain is protected and utilized for the benefit of our people and future generations. Thank you.

Isang Luntiang Pilipinas sa ating lahat!