The National Security Council on Thursday announced the completion of the first leg of the marine scientific research (MSR) in the West Philippine Sea.
The MSR was held from April 7 to 25, in coordination with agencies such as the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA), the Deparment of Environment and Natural Resources - Biodiversity Management (DENR-BMB), University of the Philippines - Marine Science Institute (UP-MSI), and the Philippine Navy.
The research was conducted primarily in the Philippine-held islands of Pag-asa, Likas, Lawak, and Panatag Shoal.
The "purely scientific and environmental" undertaking was pursued in line with the Philippine government's responsibilities under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
It was also done to protect the marine biodiversity in the area and to ensure the safety of navigation within the Philippine Exclusive Economic Zone (PEEZ).
Among the activities included in the MSR are NAMRIA's hydrographic surveys that would be used in the formulation of a nautical map for navigational safety and DENR/UP-MSI's reef assessment studies of the Kalayaan Island Group, Western Palawan Shelf and Tubbataha.
The ships BRP Presbitero and BRP Gregorio Velasquez were used for the purposes of the research.