Philippines open to engage China in protecting marine environment in South China Sea
The Philippines is open to engage China in maritime research to ensure the protection of the marine environment in South China Sea despite the destruction that Beijing allegedly committed for constructing artificial islands in the disputed waters, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources said on Friday.
In the Virtual Presser, DENR Undersecretary Analiza Rebuelta-Teh said the government could not stop cooperating with "an important player or actor in the West Philippine Sea because of that conflict regarding the damages caused."
"The main consideration or the context of the cooperation or collaboration is to ensure the protection and conservation of the marine resources in the West Philippine Sea, but of course, with due consideration also of the damages committed in the area," she said.
Teh noted the 2014 Arbitral ruling on the West Philippine Sea, which stated that the area has suffered "massive damages due to actions of China."
"Given the state of marine environment in the West Philippine Sea, protection of our remaining habitats and ecosystems is imperative," she said.
While the government is open to allow China to cooperate in marine protection, Teh said they are also documenting and gathering more evidence to pursue action against China's alleged violation on marine environment. Celerina Monte/DMS