Press Release
January 25, 2018

Sen. Bam: Don't underestimate Filipino scientists

Sen. Bam Aquino said the government should tap the country's best scientists to conduct research and exploration of Benham Rise, or now known as the Philippine Rise, instead of allowing China to do it.

"Huwag nating maliitin ang kakayahan ng mga Pinoy scientist na magsagawa ng pananaliksik sa Benham Rise. Hindi natin kailangan ang China para gawin ito," said Sen. Bam, chairman of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology.

In different interviews, some Filipino scientists claimed that they have already conducted research and exploration initiatives in Benham Rise, contrary to Malacanang's declaration that only China can do it.

"Kung hindi nagkakamali, ginagawa na iyan for the past so many years. Kaya malaking pagkakamali na sabihing sa China lang tayo puwedeng sumandal para sa isyung ito," added Sen. Bam.

Instead of tapping China, Sen. Bam said it is best for government to support initiatives of Filipino scientists to explore Benham Rise. "It is part of our territory, so it is best if we will be ones who will explore it," said Sen. Bam.

Also, Sen. Bam called on the government to be transparent in its dealings with China regarding the exploration of Benham Rise.

"There should be no secret deals with China," said Sen. Bam, who is pushing for the passage of several measures pushing for welfare of Filipino scientists, researchers and startups as chairman of the Committee on Science and Technology.

Among the committee's priority measures are the Innovative Startup Act, Magna Carta for Scientists Act and the Balik Scientist Bill, all of which are principally sponsored by Sen. Bam.

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