Thursday, November 15, 2018
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COUNTRY’S FIRST SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH IN VAST UNDERSEA PLATEAU

Duterte to send off Filipino scientists to Philippine Rise

President Rodrigo Duterte is sending off an all-Filipino team of scientists to Philippine Rise on Tuesday to begin the country’s first scientific research in the vast undersea plateau off Aurora province.

The send-off program commemorates the 2012 United Nations declaration that the submerged plateau, then known as Benham Rise, is part of the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone and extended continental shelf.

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The President’s trip is also symbolic, as it falls on the eve of the first anniversary of his renaming the 13-million-hectare seamount Philippine Rise.

Accompanying the President in sending off the 50-strong scientific team are Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and some members of Congress, including Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon said on Monday.

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Esperon said the government had stopped processing foreign applications for scientific research in Philippine Rise, and was encouraging Filipino scientists to carry out studies of the resource-rich seamount.

On June 12 last year, the military’s Northern Luzon Command planted a metallic Philippine flag on the seamount.

The command also placed a marker 21 meters below the surface to assert that the plateau is part of the Philippines’ territory.

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TAGS: Benham Rise, Filipino scientists, Philippine Rise, Rodrigo Duterte
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