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Hagedorn proposes Kalayaan Island Group and Scarborough Shoal Marine Protected Area law

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By Billy Begas

Palawan Rep. Edward Hagedorn has filed a measure seeking to declare areas surrounding the Kalayaan Island Group and Scarborough Shoal as a marine protected area.

In the proposed KIG and Scarborough Shoal Marine Protected Area Act (House Bill 6373), Hagedorn underscored the importance of strengthening the protection and preservation of the atolls, coral reefs, and other vital marine resources in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

Hagedorn said the protection of the WPS is “a shared interest and responsibility of all adjoining states around the South China Sea which should be a guiding policy for all of us in the region.”

“We all stand to gain or to lose depending on the outcome of our collective actions while we settle our territorial disputes. Through this bill, we hope for the Philippines to help initiate and spark this regional cooperation,” he added.

Palawan Representatives Edgardo Salvame and Jose Chavez Alvarez co-authored the measure.

The measure seeks to cover all areas within three nautical miles from baselines surrounding the KIG and Scarborough Shoals.

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