DFA says PH has banned marine surveys by foreign ships

Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 09 2020 05:17 PM

MANILA - The Philippines no longer allows marine surveys by foreign ships, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said on Sunday.

This was Locsin’s response when asked about a report that a Chinese survey vessel was allegedly in the Reed Bank, also known as Recto Bank, which is within the Philippine exclusive economic zone. 

In a post on Twitter, Locsin said that while the foreign ships follow the rule that they should include a Filipino scientific crew, the Filipinos were “kept in the dark.” 

“As far as I know we've stopped all marine surveys by foreign ships because, while they follow the rule that it must contain Filipino scientific crew usually from UP, I'm told all our crew do is behave like mushrooms: fed and kept in the dark,” Locsin said in a tweet on Sunday. 

Locsin last week instructed the DFA Office of Asian and Pacific Affairs (ASPAC) to check on the reports. 

Reacting to a tweet by @indopac_info last week, Locsin said he a permit had been issued to a US and French survey ship.

“I know there was permission for a US survey ship, then a French one though I can't remember when that was from the undiminishing pile of sheets on my table. @DFAPHL ASPAC check on this,” Locsin had said last week. 

The tweet said that the vessel “XIANG YANG HONG 14 departed from China on July 22, and arrived at Reed Bank on August 6.

“No opposition from the PH coast guard so far, as usual....,” it added.