File image courtesy of Kalayaan Municipal Information Office (MIO)

 

Four sandbars and two coral reef areas surrounding Kalayaan island town in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) have been officially named in an ordinance that was officially enacted August 14.

The Kalayaan municipal council government named the island features as Pag-asa Cay 1, Pag-asa Cay 2, Pag-asa Cay 3, and Pag-asa Cay 4, while the two reefs were named Pag-asa Reef 1 and Pag-asa Reef 2.

Mayor Roberto del Mundo said the ordinance’s passing aims to strengthen Kalayaan’s support to the country’s sovereign rights in the WPS.

“Ang hakbangin ng ordinansang ito ay isang pagpapakita ng suporta at pagnanais ng pamahalaang lokal ng Kalayaan sa Palawan na pagtibayin pang lalo ang ating soberenya’t karapatan sa Kanlurang Karagatan ng Pilipinas. Kaisa po tayo ng bawat Pilipinong nagsusulong ng adbokasiyang ipaglaban ang ating teritoryo,” Del Mundo said.

Maurice Philip Albayda, administrative officer III, said Municipal Ordinance No. 50-2020 was passed by the town coucil on August 11and signed by Del Mundo on Friday.

Albayda said that passage of the ordinance was in line with the Philippine government’s implementation of the 2016 Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in favor of the Republic of the Philippines against the People’s Republic of China which has laid claim to the entire West Phillippine Sea.

“Since Pag-asa Island is our civilian foothold, mahalaga na ang mga karatig na sandbars at bahura nito ay mapangalanan ng naaayon din sa 2016 PCA Ruling,” he said.

Albayda said the naming is also under Article 1 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution and Section 1 of Presidential Decree 1596, which recognizes the territory of Kalayaan signed by former president Ferdinand Marcos in 1978.

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is the news correspondent for Sofronio Española and Narra, Palawan. He also covers some agriculture stories. His interests are with food and technology.