House recalls PH Maritime Zones bill

House recalls PH Maritime Zones bill

/ 10:24 PM May 15, 2024

House Assistant Majority Leader Anna Victoria Veloso-Tuazon —House of Representatives

MANILA, Philippines — The proposed Philippine Maritime Zones Act, which the House of Representatives and the Senate had already ratified, has been recalled back to for further refinement.

Late into the plenary session on Wednesday, Assistant Majority Leader Anna Victoria Veloso-Tuazon moved to reconsider the ratification of House Bill (HB) No. 7819 and Senate Bill (SB) No. 2492.


This bill was already separately ratified via viva voce or voice voting by both the House and the Senate last March 19.


READ: PH Maritime Zones bill one step away from enactment

“Mr. Speaker, I move to reconsider the ratification of the conference committee report on the disagreeing provisions of House Bill No. 7819 and Senate Bill No. 2492, on declaring the maritime zones under the jurisdiction of the Republic of the Philippines,” said the representative from Leyte.

After no one objected, the motion was approved by Deputy Speaker David Suarez, who was presiding over the session.

Veloso-Tuazon did not mention what particular portion of the original conference committee report would be edited.

Bicameral conference committee

The following House lawmakers were elected as members of the bicameral conference committee that would be created to address concerns over the bill:

  • Pangasinan Rep. Maria Rachel Arenas (chair, committee on foreign affairs)
  • Iloilo Rep. Raul Tupas (vice chair, committee on national defense and security)
  • Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez (chair, committee on constitutional amendments)
  • Mandaluyong Rep. Neptali Gonzales II (chair, committee on West Philippine Sea)
  • Rizal Rep. Emigdio Tanjuatco III (vice chair, committee on foreign affairs)
  • Negros Occidental Rep. Kiko Benitez (chair, committee on housing and urban development)
  • APEC party-list Rep. Sergio Dagooc (Assistant Minority Leader)
  • 1-Rider party-list Rep. Ramon Rodrigo Gutierrez (Minority)

Under the House version of the bill, the following would be included in the country’s maritime zones: internal waters, archipelagic waters, territorial sea, contiguous zone, exclusive economic zone (EEZ), and continental shelf.


This is not the first proposed Philippine Maritime Zones Act tackled by the Congress. In December 2021, the House of Representatives approved a similar bill.

Then Senate president Vicente Sotto III urged then president Rodrigo Duterte to certify the bill as urgent, but it was not passed during the 18th Congress.

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TAGS: HB 7819, Philippine Maritime Zones Act, SB 2492

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