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Duterte leads rites renaming Benham as Philippine Rise.

President Duterte will lead today the commemoration of the renaming of Benham Rise to Philippine Rise to emphasize the Philippines' sovereignty over the resource-rich underwater plateau.

Activities commemorating the awarding of Benham Rise to the Philippines and its renaming to Philippine Rise will be held in Aurora province today until tomorrow, according to Malacanang and military officials.

These will include the sending off of a team of about 50 Filipino scientists who will conduct research in Philippine Rise, casting of buoy made by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources as floating marker, laying of a marker at the shallowest point in Benham Plateau and fly-by of air assets of different agencies conducting maritime air patrol in the area.

Lt. Col. Isagani Nato, public information chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines' Northern Luzon Command, said this week's commemoration is the second since the awarding of Philippine Rise to the country.

The Philippines has sovereign rights over the undersea region, a 13-million-hectare submerged continental shelf off the province of Aurora. This means that the country has the exclusive right to explore and exploit the natural and non-living resources found in it.

The United Nations declared the underwater plateau as part of the Philippines' continental shelf in 2012. Duterte renamed the undersea landmass from Benham Rise to Philippine Rise through Executive Order No. 25 issued in May last year.

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Publication:Philippines Star (Manila, Philippines)
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:May 15, 2018
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