In the TV-Radio segment program, STAN Up Balikatan of Broadcast Channel 6 hosted by Celine Tutor and King Formaran, Atty. Asis Peres, Senior Legal Adviser of Tanggol Kalikasan was invited for an interview last August 22, 2023, Tuesday to talk about the West Philippine Sea.When asked, Perez then said that “It is important for everyone to know the importance of the WPS in our life and in the country. We should be aware of the situations and incidents happening in our own territory specifically in the WPS.”
He added that the West Philippine Sea or WPS is one-third of the water area of the Philippines and is abundant in natural resources. It is only 2.5% of water in the world but 12% of all fishes caught were from the WPS. Specifically in the Spratly group of Islands which act as a spooning ground for fishes, coral reefs should not be destroyed and condemned building artificial islands as it will affect the production of fish. Natural gas and hydrocarbon deposits and oils are also possible in the WPS. We should be open to all possibilities and research for the opportunities that can give support to the livelihood and economy of the country. We should be firm that only Filipinos can benefit with the resources within our EEZ. He also said that it is also important for the Filipino to know the situations and incidents happening in the WPS. The national summit for the WPS conducted last August 2-4, 2023, was a first step to convene and to unite all sectors, municipalities, academe, and the national government for the food security, livelihood, and for the sustainable management of the WPS.
“The WPS is very important and that’s the number one we have to put in our mind. It is important and there is abundance in natural resources. It is for the Filipino and recognized by the UNCLOS that the area within the EEZ of the Philippines is under our territorial management. We should sustainably manage it with proper use of policy and science” – Atty. Perez.“Insisting on our rights should be done in a peaceful and diplomatic way, and we have to do it as a nation. But we firmly stand that we should get what is ours as per the rule of law” - he added.
The other countries such as Japan, India, US, and Australia are very vocal in their support for the Philippines because of our enthusiasm to stand on our rights in the WPS. As a Filipino, we should not speak that will in favor of the other party, give our support and be thankful to our frontline in the WPS such as our Philippine Coast Guard as they risk their own lives for the protection of our nation. The WPS is ours, let’s protect it and sustainably manage it for our future generation.
The said interview can be watched in a recorded live of STAN Up Balikatan facebook page through this link https://fb.watch/mC0a-PvA1y/