Duterte orders: Foreign ships in Philippine waters must get clearance

ALL foreign vessels passing through the Philippines' exclusive economic zone (EEZ) will now need to notify and secure clearance from the Philippine government, Malacañang announced Tuesday, August 20.

This directive of President Rodrigo Duterte is "effective today", said Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.

Duterte's directive was issued in the wake of the unannounced entry of Chinese warships in Philippine waters.

Panelo said the President issued the order in a bid to prevent further misunderstanding from other countries.

"We wish to release a statement coming from the President relative to foreign vessels passing [through] our territorial waters," the Palace official said.

“To avoid misunderstanding in the future, the President is putting on notice that beginning today, all foreign vessels passing our territorial waters must notify and get clearance from the proper government authority well in advance of the actual passage. Either we get a compliance in a friendly manner or we enforce it in an unfriendly manner," he added.

The Duterte government has raised worry over the uncoordinated passage of Chinese warships in the Sibutu Strait in Tawi-Tawi.

Malacañang has maintained its stance that foreign ships passing through the Philippine waters should inform Philippine authorities, as provided by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. has already ordered the filing of diplomatic protests over the Chinese vessels' presence in the Philippines's EEZ. (SunStar Philippines)


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