Hontiveros files bill declaring part of Philippine Rise a protected area | Inquirer News

Hontiveros files bill declaring part of Philippine Rise a protected area

By: - Reporter / @zacariansINQ
/ 06:07 AM July 12, 2022

Benham Rise

The Philippines is the only claimant to the Philippine Rise (formerly Benham Rise), which covers 13 million hectares of an undersea region that contains huge natural gas deposits.

MANILA, Philippines  — Sen. Risa Hontiveros filed Senate Bill No. 146 declaring a portion of the Philippine Rise, formerly known as Benham Rise, a protected area, and establishing a Philippine Rise Marine Resource Reserve Management Board.

The bill is known as the “Philippine Rise Marine Resource Reserve (PRMRR) Act.”


“This bill seeks to provide an added layer of protection for the pristine habitats of the Philippine Rise and establish the Philippine Rise Marine Resource Reserve Management Board which will oversee the management of the protected area,” Hontiveros said in the bill’s explanatory note.


The management board will be chaired by the secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Some of the prohibited acts under the proposed law include:

  • poaching, killing, destroying, or disturbing any wildlife within the protected area
  • hunting, taking, collecting, gathering, or possessing any wildlife or any of its by-products, or resources, whether living or nonliving within the protected area without the necessary permit, authorization, or exemption
  • possessing or transporting outside the protected area any wildlife, or by-products derived therefrom, which are ascertained to have been taken from the protected area
  • using any fishing or harvesting gear or employing any practices, or any of their variations, that are unsustainable, or detrimental to coral reefs, seagrass or seaweed beds, or other marine life and their associated habitat
  • securing a vessel in place either by using an anchor or tying onto any part of the reef
  • dumping, throwing, using, or causing to be dumped into or placed in the protected area of any toxic chemical, noxious or poisonous substance, or non-biodegradable material.
  • littering or depositing refuse or debris within the protected area
  • possessing or using blasting caps or explosives anywhere within the protected area
  • establishing or introducing exotic species, including GMOs or invasive alien species
  • Prospecting, hunting, or locating hidden treasures within the protected area

Violators may face a fine of up to P5 million or imprisonment of up to six years depending on the gravity of the violation.


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