Camp Aquino, Tarlac City – The Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM) intends to emplace the Philippine flag at the underwater plateau, the Philippine Ridge on June 12, 2017, Independence Day.
The historical endeavour is a joint interagency and multi-stakeholder effort with divers from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and civilian volunteer divers. The second part of the activity is a visit of the Secretary of National Defense to the flag hoisting site on June 15, 2017. The Ship Deck Flag Ceremony will be onboard the Philippine Navy’s newest and biggest vessel LD602 BRP Davao Del Sur. The activity intends to assert our patriotic ownership of this maritime zone and raise awareness of its strategic value.
The Philippine Ridge is not among the areas in dispute with neighbouring countries and the Philippines has the sovereign right to explore and exploit all the natural resources found in the Philippine Ridge as part of its extended continental shelf (ECS). During the 14thCabinet Meeting held on April 3, 2017 at the Aguinaldo State Dining Room, Malacañan Palace, President Duterte issued the directive to rename Benham Rise to “Philippine Rise” and for the AFP to put symbols of ownership in the Philippine Ridge.