Senator Francis Tolentino said on Wednesday he has prioritized the Philippine Maritime Zones Act, to strengthen the country's territorial claims. Speaking before a news forum, Tolentino said the proposed measure is long overdue, saying 152 countries have their own maritime laws, while the Philippines that is surrounded by water has none. He said Senate Bill No. 2294 or the Philippine Maritime Zones Act will be the priority of the Senate Special Committee on Maritime and Admiralty Zones, which he chairs. "The Maritime Zones bill will establish the exact boundaries of the Republic of the Philippines. Hindi kasi alam kung hanggang saan ang ating continental shelf, territorial sea. Hindi maliwanag kung hanggang saan ang muhon ng ating (We don't know the extent of our continental shelf, territorial sea, there is no clear where our boundary lies) Exclusive Economic Zone," he said. Tolentino said the panel is also set to craft a measure on the archipelagic sea lanes, which will designate routes for local and international maritime vehicles that will not violate the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). He added that the first committee hearing of the Senate Special Committee on Maritime and Admiralty Zones will be held next week. It will tackle the maritime zone bill and hear the insights of various local and foreign experts on maritime zone laws.
Source: Philippines News Agency