The Deparment of Foreign Affairs (DFA) tells the Senate that for the last two years, the Philippines has been rejecting China’s application to conduct studies in Benham Rise off the coast of Aurora.
DFA Maritime and Ocean Affairs Office Director Maria Lourdes Montero told senators that “since 2015, DFA has been denying China’s request for marine scientific research” in the area.
She also stressed, “exploration of our resources can’t be under the guise of research.”
Montero said, the China’s applications for research and DFA’s responses were made through note verbales (unsigned diplomatic notes).
As for the alleged instrusion of a Chinese government vessel in Benham Rise, Montero said, DFA is not certain about this activity.
Montero was among the resource speakers in the hearing of the Senate Committee on Economic Affairs on the proposal to create Benham Rise Development Authority (BRDA).