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Exclusive Economic Zone; Rights of the Coastal State
« on: March 20, 2010, 10:41:37 PM »
Philippine Bar Exam:
In the desire to improve the fishing methods of the fishermen, the Bureau of Fisheries, with the approval of the President, entered into a memorandum of agreement to allow Thai fishermen to fish within 200 miles from the Philippine sea coasts on the condition that Filipino fishermen be allowed to use Thai fishing equipment and vessels, and to learn modern technology in fishing and canning. Is the agreement valid?

Suggested Answer:

1) No. the President cannot authorize the Bureau of Fisheries to enter into a memorandum of agreement allowing Thai fishermen to fish within the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines, because the Constitution reserves to Filipino citizens the use and enjoyment of the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines.

Section 2. Article XII of the Constitution provides: “The State shall protect the nation's marine part in its archipelagic waters, territorial sea, and exclusive economic zone, and reserve its use and enjoyment to Filipino citizens."

Section 7, Article XIII of the Constitution provides: "The State shall protect the rights of subsistence fishermen, especially of local communities, to the preferential use of the communal marine and fishing resources, both inland and offshore. It shall provide support to such fishermen through appropriate technology and research, adequate financial, production, and marketing assistance, and other services. The State shall also protect, develop, and conserve such resources. The protection shall extend to offshore fishing grounds of subsistence fishermen against foreign intrusion. Fishworkers shall receive a just share from their labor in the utilization of marine and fishing resources.

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