The Philippine Rise, formerly known as Benham Rise, is part of the Philippines’ continental shelf.
MANILA, Philippines — Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano finds it inappropriate that China named some of the underwater features in the Philippine Rise.
He said it was wrong timing especially when there are existing territorial issues among some Asian countries on the territory issues in the West Philippine Sea.
But the secretary stood firm that the country will not use the names China has given to the underwater features.
“Protest means you’re complaining, you’re not agreeing. So we have to make that to International Hydrographic Organization (IHO). But regardless whatever IHO will say, we won’t recognize foreign names here, unless we agreed,” said the foreign affairs secretary.
But the secretary admitted that like other kinds of exploration, any country has the right to name what they discovered.
“In the scientific community when you discover something, it’s your pride to name it. So when French nationals discover it, they’ll put a French name. When Americans discover, they’ll put American name,” said the official.
Meanwhile, a formal communication with China is the action needed to be done by the Philippine government regarding the scientific exploration according to University of the Philippines Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea expert Jay Batongbacal.
But he said this should have been done before it was discovered that China named our natural resources.
The International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) has a scientific basis in approving a name of an underwater sea feature.
“I’m not sure that is going to be the proper communication since this is an international organization, and is engaged in scientific work. There was a process for naming that had been followed and the process has already been concluded so I’m not sure if there is an additional procedure for seeking the reversal of their decision,” said Cayetano.— Mai Bermudez | UNTV News and Rescue