Press Release
March 1, 2018

Sen. Bam: Filipino Scientists vindicated with President's statements

Senator Bam Aquino called President Duterte's directive to fiercely protect the Philippine Rise and implement stricter measures, a win for Filipino scientists.

"President Duterte's pronouncement is a victory for our Filipino scientists," said Sen. Bam, chairman of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, which recently conducted a hearing on the Philippine Rise.

"Tama lang na pagdating sa foreign scientists, mas mahigpit tayo sa mga permits at pagpapatupad ng ating sovereign rights. Importante rin na bigyan ng matinding suporta ang ating Filipino scientists at armed forces na naka-assign sa Philippine Rise," added Sen. Bam.

During the Senate hearing, it was revealed that China conducted hydrographic surveys in the Philippine Rise without required consent of the Philippine government and named the five discovered features through the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO).

To avoid any violation of Philippine sovereign rights and ensure that Filipino scientists are equipped to conduct independent missions, Sen. Bam is batting to increase support for Filipino scientists and personnel from different government agencies, who are working on and protecting the Philippine Rise.

"In total, additional support for local scientists and security forces will go up to the billions. But we are studying if this can be given over a period of time and not all at once," said Sen. Bam.

Sen. Bam has committed to work with different agencies and the Senate Finance Committee, of which he is a vice chairman, to reflect the additional funding in the 2019 budget.

The senator added that the government should intensify its efforts to protect Philippine Rise, especially now that there are moves for joint exploration in the West Philippine Sea.

"Ngayon na tila isinuko na natin ang WPS, mas matindi pa dapat ang pagprotekta natin sa Philippine Rise," said Sen. Bam.

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