The country has completed the first leg of its maritime scientific research (MSR) efforts in the West Philippine Sea (WPS). This was bared by National Security Adviser and National Task Force-WPS chair Hermogenes Esperon in a statement Thursday.
The research mission, which was conducted by oceanographic vessels, BRP Presbiterio and BRP Gregorio Velasquez, was done off Pagasa Island, Lawak, and Panatag Shoal. National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA) operates BRP Presbiterio, while Philippine Navy operates BRP Gregorio Velasquez.
“This purely scientific and environment undertaking was pursued in line with the Philippines’ responsibilities under the UNCLOS, particularly to protect the marine biodiversity and ensure the safety of navigation within the Philippine exlusive economic zone (EEZ),” he said.
Esperon also stressed that the MSR is a coordinated interagency effort of the NAMRIA, Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Biodiversity Management Bureau (DENR-BMB), University of the Philippines-Marine Science Institute, and the Philippine Navy.
This took place last April 7 to 25. “Among the activities under the MSR include NAMRIA’s hydrographic surveys that would aid in the formulation of a nautical map for navigational safety and DENR/UP-MSI’s reef assessment studies of the Kalayaan Island Group, Western Palawan Shelf, and Tubbataha,” he further stressed.
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