NEDA thumbs down creation of Benham Rise Dev't Authority

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 29 2017 01:29 PM | Updated as of Mar 29 2017 03:21 PM

There is no need to create a separate government agency to supervise research and development in the Benham Rise, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said Wednesday.

Senator Sonny Angara filed Senate bill 312 or the Benham Rise Development Authority (BRDA) Act in a bid to have a government office that would be the "lead agency in conducting scientific research and exploration in Benham Rise should be created immediately."

Angara wanted the BRDA to be an attached agency of the NEDA.

The function of the proposed Benham Rise Development Authority (BRDA) is similar to the mandate of the National Coast Watch Council (NCWC) that serves as the "central interagency mechanism for coordinated and coherent approach on maritime issues," NEDA's Diane Gail Llanto told members of the Senate committees on Economic Affairs, and Finance.

"It's more (beneficial) long-term if we have an agency that can look after the whole nation (not just Benham Rise)," Llanto said.

Under the Office of the President, the NCWC is chaired by the Executive Secretary and its members consist of representatives from the Departments of National Defense, Foreign affairs, Interior and Local Government, Justice, Energy, Environment and Natural Resources, and Agriculture.