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9月16日のまにら新聞から

Gov't to establish naval presence in eastern part of Luzon to secure Philippine Rise amid presence of poachers, including Japanese

[ 336 words|2017.9.16|英字 (English) ]

The Philippine government is planning to establish naval presence in eastern part of Luzon to secure the Philippine Rise (formerly Benham Rise) amid presence of foreign poachers, including Japanese, an official said on Friday.

In a press briefing in Malacanang, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said while building a platform in the Philippine Rise might not be "tenable" at this time, the government could establish naval presence in Casiguran, Aurora; Polilio Island in Quezon; and at the tip of Cagayan.

He said the existing airstrips in Casiguran and Polilio Island could be improved.

"So, we'll have three jump-off points for our patrols in Benham Rise," noting that the 13-million hectare undersea plateau is the spawning ground of the blue fin tuna, "the most expensive tuna in the world.

"So let us protect that...and the corals there are so beautiful," he said.

But Lorenzana said, "the problem there is other countries, the fishermen of other countries have been poaching there for a long time, coming from Taiwan, South Korea, China. Even Japan comes to Benham Rise. And we would like to protect what belongs to us. That's our plan."

He said building a platform in the area might not be tenable because the sea becomes too harsh in some time of the year with waves as high as 10 meters.

He also admitted that there was no fund allocation yet for the construction of a permanent structure in the Philippine Rise.

However, he added if the government could earmark fund and "get the correct technology," a permanent structure might be constructed in two years' time.

"We want to have a platform where helicopter can land, ship can also go near there and dock so that we will have some presence there. Plus we can put there marine biologist, our scientists to study the area," Lorenzana added.

Philippine Ridge, lies 216 kilometers east of Aurora province, is an extended continental shelf awarded to the Philippines by United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf in 2012. Celerina Monte/DMS