According to Senator Risa Hontiveros, the government must name the features of the Kalayaan Group of Islands to cement its claim in the contested West Philippine Sea.
The senator on Monday offered this suggestion to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in light of the continued incursion by China in the disputed area.
“The features we occupy in the KIG remain unnamed. Mapapalakas ang paggiit natin ng ating karapatan sa WPS kung malinaw ang pangalan, katangian, at sakop ng mga inaangkin nating teritoryo,” Hontiveros said in a statement.
“Identity is key. Naming our land and rocks in the KIG will help us consolidate our ownership of the WPS. Establishing baselines in the KIG that can identify our territorial seas bolsters our complete sovereignty over these seas,” she added.
The lawmaker further emphasized that the Philippines cannot afford to stay “passive” as “China will only continue to take what is ours.”
The Department of Foreign Affairs has already lodged several diplomatic protests against the continuous presence of Chinese ships in the vicinity of Pag-asa islands.
Just last week, the Philippines filed another diplomatic protest, demanding anew that China withdraw its vessels in the area.