By Freddie Lazaro
SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union – The Philippine government, through the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), marked the fourth anniversary of the Philippine Rise at Port Irene, Cagayan Economic Zone Authority, Sta Ana, Cagayan province.
Navy Lieutenant Geraldson J. Pascual, spokesperson of the Naval Forces North Luzon (NFNL) based in Poro Point, San Fernando City, La Union, said on Friday that personnel of the Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM) and the Area Task Force (ATF) – North led the successful staging of the event on June 10.
AFP Chief General Felimon T. Santos, Jr., together with the local government officials of Cagayan province, graced the affair, which asserted the country’s patriotic ownership of the Philippine Rise.
During the program, Santos cited the strategic and economic importance of the place.
The Philippine Rise is a seismically active undersea region, and an extinct volcanic ridge located in the Philippine Sea, approximately 250 kilometer east of the northern coastline of Dinapigue, Isabela.
In May 2017, the feature was designated by the Philippines as a “protected food supply exclusive zone,” prohibiting mining and oil exploration in the plateau.
Due to the prevailing pandemic, the Philippine Rise commemoration was delayed this year, but it did not stop the AFP from commemorating the event.
Pascual said the event serves as the government’s renewal of commitment that ATF North will continuously sustain the protection and preservation of these vast marine resources for future generations.
Along with the event, Santos presided over the sent-off for Patrol Ship BRP Quezon PS70 and aircraft with tail number NV320 to establish a naval presence within the designated maritime patrol areas and exercise governance in the vicinity of Philippine Rise. (Freddie G. Lazaro)