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PIA Press Release
2009/02/20

RP claim on disputed territories preserved in new baselines law

Manila (20 February) -- Lawmakers assured that the new baselines law has not abandoned nor weakened the Philippine claim over Kalayaan Island group and Scarborough Shoal.

By treating both territories as "regime of islands under the Republic of the Philippines" as stated by the baselines law, congressional leaders in both houses said the Philippines exercises sovereignty without attracting unwanted conflict with neighbors in South East Asia.

China and Taiwan, like the Philippines, have claims over Kalayaan Island Group and Scarborough Shoal. Other claimants on the Kalayaan Island Group are Vietnam and Brunei.

Islands under the principle of regime of islands will have their own contiguous zones, territorial seas and exclusive economic zones.

Congress passed the baselines law in compliance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) where an archipelagic country like the Philippines is entitled to define territorial sea of 12 nautical miles, contiguous zone of additional 12 nautical miles, exclusive economic zone of 200 nautical miles, and extended continental shelf of up to 350 nautical miles.

Archipelagic countries must have baselines laws before May 13, 2009 based on the UNCLOS deadline. (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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