Philippine Senate Approves Amendment Specifying Ownership of Artificial Islands in EEZ

A paragraph inserted in Philippine Senate Bill 2492 under Committee Report No. 172 grants ownership to all artificial islands constructed within the Philippines’ Economic Exclusive Zone (EEZ) in a hearing on February 13th. The Exclusive Economic Zone refers to waters around 200 nautical miles (229 miles) from their shores.

Specifically, the amendment says, “All artificial islands constructed within the Philippine EEZ shall belong to the Philippine government.” Senator Francis Tolentino proposed this addition to the bill, and no senators made any objections to the paragraph. Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri responded with a “very good amendment” and declared it passed due to no opposition.

The senate bill will clarify the extent of a country’s maritime boundaries and what legal powers the Philippines can wield within them.