What lies beneath: exploring Benham Rise's unknown treasures
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Benham Rise, the underwater landmass northeast of Luzon that the United Nations declared part of the Philippines’ continental shelf, has been grabbing headlines because of the presence of Chinese ships that may or may not have been given permission to do research in the area, according to conflicting claims by President Duterte, Defense chief Delfin Lorenzana, as well as Foreign Affairs officials. What remains undisputed, however, are the possible trove of mineral and gas deposits about 3,000 meters below the water’s surface that have yet to be discovered. Sometimes referred to as the Benham Plateau, the landmass, described to have a craggy or rough surface, is bigger than Luzon or almost half the size of the Philippine’s total land area. It extends eastward off the provinces of Aurora and Isabel, and the Bicol region, but has always been connected to Luzon’s landmass through the Bicol and Palanan saddles.
Cinco, M. (2017, March 19). What lies beneath: exploring Benham Rise's unknown treasures. Philippine Daily Inquirer, p. A12.
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Continental shelves; United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea; Law of the sea; International law; Territorial waters; Governments; Exclusive economic zone; Fishing grounds; Fishers; Scuba diving; Jurisdiction; Exclusive rights; United Nations (UN); Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD); Department of Science and Technology (DOST); United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS); University of the Philippines National Institute for Geological Sciences (UP-NIGS); Philippine Navy (PN); Philippine Coast Guard (PCG); Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR); Benham Rise Development Authority (BRDA); Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (Jamstec); Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology; Duterte, Rodrigo; Lorenzana, Delfin; David, Carlos Primo; Santos, Teodoro; Villanoy, Cesar; Velasquez, Gregorio; Nacorda, Hildie Marie; Batongbacal, Jay; Angara, Juan Edgardo