Neda: Define PH territory, unlock P1-T in untapped resources in ‘blue economy’ | Inquirer Business

Neda: Define PH territory, unlock P1-T in untapped resources in ‘blue economy’

By: - Reporter / @bendeveraINQ
/ 04:29 PM January 20, 2020

Government economic planners are pushing for legislation that would define Philippine maritime territory and unlock up to P1 trillion in resources untapped in what Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said was a “blue economy.”

Economic Planning Undersecretary Rosemarie G. Edillon, at a press conference on Monday (Jan. 20), said measures must be passed to put on paper the extent and breadth of Philippine maritime and archipelagic territory because it was not enough to just declare these.

“We might not be optimizing at present our access to maritime resources,” said Economic Planning Undersecretary Adoracion M. Navarro, agreeing with Edillon.


“In fact, these are not clearly defined under our laws,” Navarro said.


She said those were the reasons the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) was pushing for a legislative agenda that would “give our fisherfolk and commercial investors clearer guidelines on how to optimize the use of our resources.”

Neda officials said the bills would delineate territory where oil can be discovered and protected as a Philippine resource.

Edillon said defining Philippine maritime zones and archipelagic sea lanes will prevent some of the Philippines’ neighbors from encroaching into Philippine territory in the West Philippine Sea.

She clarified, though, that the bills do not cover territory subject to competing claims.

But she explained why defining territory was crucial.

“Our problem is that because there’s no general declaration of what our territories are, so we have some encroachment being done by our neighbors,” she said.


“So we claim that is an encroachment, but actually we don’t have it in writing,” Edillon said.

“We don’t have any document that says this is actually ours,” she added.

“Definitely not part of the contested territories, but it’s actually really ours, [and] that has to be written, it has to be documented,” Edillon explained.

Pernia said having legislation that defines maritime territory could unlock the so-called blue economy which has already drawn “a lot of interest.”

“In fact, we need to pay more attention on the blue economy,” said the Neda chief.

“We have really undertapped, underexploited and underused the value of the blue economy,” Pernia added.

Citing a UP School of Economics paper, the Neda chief said “over P1 trillion could be reaped from tapping the blue economy, and that’s even a very conservative estimate.”

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Edited by TSB

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TAGS: Maritime, NEDA, West Philippine Sea

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