Palace hails passage of baselines bill
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang welcomed the passage of the baselines bill, which defines the country’s territorial waters, by the bicameral conference committee, saying it “best protects the interest of the country.”
“The panels of the Senate and the House of Representatives unanimously passed an agreement that best protects the interest of the country,” deputy presidential spokesperson Lorelei Fajardo said in a statement.
“The Palace is confident that the bill will be enacted well before the United Nations’ deadline,” Fajardo said.
The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) has set a May 2009 deadline for countries to define their baselines or territorial waters.
The approved baselines bill excludes the Kalayaan Island Group in the disputed Spratlys and Scarborough Shoal from the country’s baselines, regarding them as a “regime of islands” to which the Philippines lays claim.
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