House urges formation of PhP 100-M research fund for Philippine Rise

The House of Representatives has officially formed a resolution urging the Executive department “to allocate funds for the additional scientific research and feasibility studies” in the Philippine Rise, formerly known as Benham Rise.

Through the House Resolution No. 1636, Ilocos Sur 1st District Rep. Deogracias Victor Savellano expressed “the need to establish a trust fund with a seed amount of PhP 100 million” which will be handled by the National Coast Watch Council.

The proposed fund could be usedfor research, feasibility studies, and marine exploration for mineral deposits, energy sources and other resources, as well as the acquisition of new equipment.

The Philippine Rise is a 13-million hectare undersea plateau off the eastern coast of Luzon which the Philippines obtained undisputed maritime claim through the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) in 2012.

The Philippines also has sovereign rights over the marine resources of the said area because it was declared part of the extended continental shelf of the country’s exclusive economic zone.

President Rodrigo Duterte renamed the Benham Rise as Philippine Rise by Executive Order no. 25 signed in May 2017 to emphasize the country’s sovereign rights over the highland.