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For Pinoys only: Duterte declares PH Rise a marine protected area

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President Rodrigo Duterte has signed a presidential proclamation declaring a part of Philippine Rise as a marine protected area, on the anniversary of its renaming from Benham Rise.

Duterte signed the proclamation Tuesday (May 15) on board the BRP Davao Del Sur in Aurora during the send off ceremony for Filipino scientists who will be conducting research in the undersea plateau.

In his speech, Duterte said 50,000 hectares of Philippine Rise shall become a “Strict Protection Zone” limited to scientific studies conducted by Filipinos, while more than 300,000 hectares will be designated as a special fisheries area.

The United Nations ruled in 2012 that Philippine Rise is part of the country’s exclusive economic zone, which means the Philippines will have sovereign rights to exploit its resources.

Duterte was supposed to visit the undersea plateau but it was shelved because it was far.