philippine rise

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.

Sen. Bam on DFA’s decision to contest China-named features in the Philippine Rise

DFA’s declaration to contest the China-named features is one step toward safeguarding Philippine territory.

We hope they will follow through on the nullification of these Chinese names in Philippine Rise.

China has violated our sovereign rights in discovering these features and must not be given the honor of naming them.

Inaasahan natin na ipaglalaban na ng administrasyon ang Philippine Rise at susuportahan ang ating mga scientists sa pagsasagawa ng independent research sa ating teritoryo.

Sen. Bam supports local scientists, fights for funding of independent PH Rise research

With the government in a better fiscal position to invest in manpower and equipment, Sen. Bam Aquino committed to support Filipino scientists and other government agencies closely working in the Philippine Rise.

“We should be investing in our own capacity to do research. Huwag dapat tayong laging dependent sa mga foreign partnerships,” said Sen. Bam as he presided over the investigation on the Philippine Rise as chairman of the Committee on Science and Technology.

“Pondohan natin ang mga proyektong makakabuti sa kinabukasan ng bansa. Let’s make the extra effort to support our scientists and ensure that we can maximize the Philippine Rise, and protect it from any threat,” said Sen. Bam

As vice chairman of the Committee on Finance, Sen. Bam said he will find ways to support Filipino scientists and other government agencies in their effort to protect and explore the Philippine Rise.

“Ngayong nakakabili na tayo ng gamit para sa modernisasyon ng ating Armed Forces, dapat na ring isabay ang pangangailangan ng ating mga scientist at iba pang ahensiya na katuwang sa pagsasaliksik at pagbibigay ng proteksiyon sa lugar,” said Sen. Bam, adding that the ideal scenario has Filipino scientists at the forefront of the research and exploration in the area.

During the Senate hearing, it was discovered that China conducted hydrographic surveys in the Philippine Rise without required consent of the Philippine government.

China recently named the five features found during their unauthorized research in the undersea territory through the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO).

In response, Sen. Bam stressed that the government must explore all channels to nullifyChina’s naming rights.

“Let’s be more vigilant with the Philippine Rise. Ipaglaban naman natin ito,” Sen. Bam said.

Sen. Bam: For PH Rise, mahirap makipag-partner sa pasaway

Senator Bam Aquino said that the country must find research partners who will follow our rules, during the hearing of the Committee on Science and Technology on the Philippine Rise.

“Mahirap makipag partner sa pasaway. We should find partners who will follow our rules,” said Sen. Bam as he headed the Senate hearing.

Through Sen. Bam’s questioning, it was revealed that in previous years, China violated the country’s sovereign rights when it conducted hydrographic surveys in the Philippine Rise without required consent of the Philippine government.

During the course of their research, China found five features in the undersea territory, which they recently named through the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO).

Sen. Bam stressed that the government must explore all channels to overturn China’s move to name the five undersea features in the Philippine Rise.

The National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA) stated that the previous violation, alongside the ongoing dispute with China over the West Philippine Sea, the Philippine government can call on the IHO to nullify its approval of the Chinese names.

China can also be requested to withdraw their naming rights. If they agree, Sen. Bam said this could be a show of good faith and friendship from the Chinese government.

“Let’s be more vigilant with the Philippine Rise. Ipaglaban naman natin ito,” Sen. Bam said.

In light of the China installations in the West Philippine Sea, Sen. Bam pointed out that we should be more cautious with foreign research expeditions in the Philippine Rise and ensure that our permits are strictly enforced.

Sen. Bam Aquino’s Opening Statement for Benham Rise Hearing

We’d like to thank all of you for joining us here today for our first public hearing on the Philippine Rise, also known as the Benham Rise.

As the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, I consider it my duty to give our local scientists and researchers the opportunity to address the government and the country on significant issues and valuable scientific initiatives.

 I’ve said this in the past, our Filipino scientists and researchers are sadly underappreciated in the country.

 There is certainly more we can do to, first, to strengthen the voice of the scientific community; and second, to provide our researchers, innovators, scientists and experts with substantial support in terms of budget and resources.

 Through these hearings, we hope to do both.

 Kayo po na may malalim na kaalaman sa ating Philippine Rise ang nararapat na pakinggan at konsultahin tungkol sa mga plano at hinaharap ng lugar na ito.

 Kayo po ang dapat mabigyan ng suporta at pondo sa pagsaliksik sa ating mahalagang likas na yaman sa Philippine Rise.

 Bilang Chairman ng Science and Technology Committee, nandito po tayo para pakinggan at bigyan ng nauukulang suporta mula sa gobyerno at mula sa budget.

 Bilang Pilipino naman po, isang Pilipinong nagmamahal sa ating bayan at nagmamasid sa isyu ng ating teritoryo, nandito rin po tayo upang mas maging malinaw ang  isyu ng Philippine Rise doon sa pakikitungo sa mga bansa sa ating paligid.

Narito ngayon ang mga eksperto sa mga ekspedisyon sa Philippine Rise, at mga eksperto sa ating national defense. We would like to thank Secretary Esperon for coming today.

 Is there a threat to the Philippine Rise, considering that on the other side of the West Philippine Sea, we have seen China already put up bases that threaten our sovereignty.

What should be done to protect the Philippine Rise and to ensure that it is the Filipino people that will benefit from its natural riches in the years to come?

 Ano po ang ating mga agreement, hindi lang sa bansang Tsina, kundi sa ibang mga bansa, at ano po ang pakikinabangan ng ating bayan at ng ating mga kababayan dito sa mga agreements na ito.

What resources do we need to pour into the Philippine Rise to make certain that its natural resources would benefit the Filipino?

 We hope to tackle all of these issues today during our Senate hearings on the Philippine Rise. Again, we would like to thank our experts, our friends from the military, Secretary Esperon, our friends from the DFA, our scientific community. Maraming salamat sa inyong pagpunta. And we hope to have a productive, clear and definitive meeting today when it comes to this territory in the Philippines. Maraming maraming salamat po at magandang umaga.

Sen. Bam: PH Rise is not for China to name

Benham Rise is clearly Philippine territory and its features are not for China to name.

It is only right that the government counter any further moves to name features of our territory and propose remedies for the two formally named by China through the International Hydrographic Organization.

I hope that the hearing I will chair on February 26 will bring clarity to the issue and help determine next steps.

It is imperative that we protect our territory from any foreign interest.

Dapat nang magkaroon ng matibay at malinaw na plano ang pamahalaan sa Philippine Rise, lalo ngayong unti-unti nang kumikilos ang China para ito’y angkinin.

Huwag nating isuko na parang West Philippine Sea ang napakahalagang yamang ito.

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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