BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES
ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. 29
NAMING THE WEST PHILIPPINE SEA OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
WHEREAS, Presidential Decree No. 1599 (1978) established the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Philippines extending to a distance of two hundred nautical miles from the baselines of the Philippine archipelago;
WHEREAS, Republic Act No. 9522 (2009), or the Baselines Law, specifically defined and described the baselines of the Philippine archipelago;
WHEREAS, the Philippines exercises sovereign rights under the principles of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), to explore and exploit, conserve and manage the natural resources, whether living or non-living, both renewable and non-renewable, of the sea-bed, including the subsoil and the adjacent waters, and to conduct other activities for the economic exploitation and exploration of its maritime domain, such as the production of energy from the water, currents and winds;
WHEREAS, the Philippines exercises sovereign jurisdiction in its EEZ with regard to the establishment and use of artificial islands, installations and structures; marine scientific research; protection and preservation of the marine environment; and other rights and duties provided for in UNCLOS; and
WHEREAS, in the exercise of sovereign jurisdiction, the Philippines has the inherent power and right to designate its maritime areas with appropriate nomenclature for purposes of the national mapping system.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BENIGNO S. AQUINO III, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution and by law, do hereby order:
Section 1. The maritime areas on the western side of the Philippine archipelago are hereby named as the West Philippine Sea. These areas include the Luzon Sea as well as the waters around, within and adjacent to the Kalayaan Island Group and Bajo De Masinloc, also known as Scarborough Shoal.
Section 2. The naming of the West Philippine Sea is without prejudice to the determination of the maritime domain over territories which the Republic of the Philippines has sovereignty and jurisdiction.
Section 3. The National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA) shall produce and publish charts and maps of the Philippines reflecting the West Philippine Sea in accordance with this Order.
Section 4. The Philippine Government, through the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in consultation with NAMRIA and other appropriate government agencies, shall deposit, at the appropriate time, a copy of this Order enclosing the official map reflecting the West Philippines Sea with the Secretary-General of the United Nations and notify accordingly relevant international organizations, such as the International Hydrographic Organization and the United Nations Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names.
Section 5. All departments, subdivisions, agencies and instrumentalities of the Government are hereby directed to use and employ the name West Philippine Sea in all communications, messages and public documents, to popularize the use of such name in the general public, both domestically and internationally.
Section 6. All departments, subdivisions, agencies and instrumentalities of the Government are enjoined to use the official Philippine maps produced and published by NAMRIA in accordance with this Order.
For this purpose, the Department of Education (DepEd), the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and state universities and colleges (SUCs) are directed to issue circulars requiring the use of said official Philippine maps in relevant subjects, researches and instructional materials, such as, among others, text books, instructional materials, and audio-visual presentations.
Section 7. The NAMRIA shall ensure compliance with this Order, pursuant to Department of Environment and Natural Resources Administrative Order (DENR-AO) No. 31 (s. 1988) and other pertinent laws, rules and regulations.
Section 8. The expenditures which may be incurred in the implementation of this Order shall be funded from the existing annual budget of the concerned agencies, subject to the usual accounting and auditing rules and regulations.
Section 9. If any provision of this Order is declared invalid or unconstitutional by competent authority, the other provisions unaffected shall remain valid and subsisting.
Section 10. All issuances, rules and regulations or parts thereof that are inconsistent with the provisions of this Order are hereby revoked, amended, or modified accordingly.
Section 11. This Order shall take effect immediately.
DONE, in the City of Manila, 5th day of September, in the year of Our Lord, Two Thousand and Twelve.
(Sgd.) BENIGNO S. AQUINO III
President of the Philippines
By the President:
(Sgd.) PAQUITO N. OCHOA, JR.
Source: Malacañang Records Office
Office of the President of the Philippines. (2012). Administrative Order No. 29: Naming the West Philippine Sea of the Republic of the Philippines, and for other purposes. Manila: Malacañang Records Office.