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IBP stands with Filipino fishermen

THE INTEGRATED Bar of the Philippines urged the government to provide protection to Filipino fishermen who ply their trade within the 200-mile Philippine Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

IBP president Antonio C. Pido and the IBP governing board unanimously adopted the position that “Filipino fishermen have the legal right to go fishing” within this EEZ. The IBP added that “the Philippine government is duty-bound to provide protection to our fishermen inside this zone.”

Article 13, section 7 of the 1987 Constitution requires the State to uphold the right of subsistence fishermen to have preferential treatment in the use of communal fishing grounds, both inland and offshore. This right is extended to protection against “foreign intrusion.”  

The IBP also cites the Treaty of Paris signed in 1898 when Spain ceded the Philippine archipelago to the United States of America. This was reinforced and clarified in the Treaty of Washington of 1900 where the parties listed the additional islands that Spain turned over to the U.S.

“When the Philippines gained independence, all these islands covered by the Treaty of Paris and Treaty of Washington that form part of the Philippine archipelago became part of our country’s territory,” the IBP said.

In 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration issued a decision confirming that the Philippines has sovereign rights over its EEZ in the West Philippine Sea. This decision clarified that “the Philippines shall enjoy all economic rights within its EEZ, including fishing, resource exploration, and marine conservation,” the IBP concluded.

The IBP is the official and mandatory organization of all lawyers in the Philippines.



Atty. Ade S. Fajardo
Presidential Adviser on Media Relations


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