President Duterte issues E.O. 25, renames “Benham Rise” to “Philippine Rise”
On 16 May 2017, President Rodrigo R. Duterte issued Executive Order No. 25 (E.O. 25) which effectively changed the name “Benham Rise” to “Philippine Rise.”
The Philippine Rise is an undersea feature, east of Luzon island. The shallowest part, which is the Benham Bank, is less than 50 meters deep. It is connected to the Luzon margin through the Palanan and Bicol Saddle.
Section 2 of the said E.O. states that, the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA) shall henceforth produce maps and charts, and indicate the name “Philippine Rise” in lieu of the name “Benham Rise.”
The Philippine Rise, formerly Benham Rise, was recognized by the United Nations Commission on the Limits of Continental Shelf (UNCLCS) on 12 April 2012. The UNCLCS adopted in full the submission of the Philippine delegation, headed by NAMRIA Administrator Peter N. Tiangco, for an extended continental shelf (ECS).
The President also tasked the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), in consultation with NAMRIA, to transmit appropriate notifications to concerned international organizations. He then directed all government agencies to use and employ the name “Philippine Rise” in all official documents referring to the said undersea area.