IBP urges protection for Filipino Fishermen

Ted Aljibe/ AFP

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) has called on the government to provide protection for Filipino fishermen operating within the country’s 200-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

In a statement released over the weekend, IBP President Antonio C. Pido and the IBP governing board asserted that “Filipino fishermen have the legal right to go fishing” within this EEZ.

They emphasized that “the Philippine government is duty-bound to provide protection to our fishermen inside this zone.”

Article 13, Section 7 of the 1987 Constitution mandates the state to uphold the right of subsistence fishermen to preferential treatment in the use of communal fishing grounds, both inland and offshore. This right includes protection against “foreign intrusion.”

The IBP also referenced the Treaty of Paris of 1898, where Spain ceded the Philippine archipelago to the United States, and the Treaty of Washington of 1900, which clarified the additional islands transferred 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 stated.

In 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled that the Philippines has sovereign rights over its EEZ in the West Philippine Sea.

The decision affirmed that “the Philippines shall enjoy all economic rights within its EEZ, including fishing, resource exploration, and marine conservation,” the IBP concluded.

The IBP, the official and mandatory organization for all lawyers in the Philippines, stands firm in its position, advocating for the protection of Filipino fishermen and asserting the nation’s rights over its maritime territories.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here