'Philippine Rise': Duterte signs EO renaming Benham Rise
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte signed an executive order (EO) renaming Benham Rise to "Philippine Rise."
EO No. 25, signed last Tuesday, May 16, and released on Monday, May 22, renamed the 13-million-hectare underwater plateau located near Aurora. (READ: FAST FACTS: What you should know about Benham Rise)
The EO noted that Benham Rise, which is located within the Philippines' exclusive economic zone and considered part of the country's continental shelf, is "subject to the sovereign rights and jurisdiction of the Philippines." (READ: Duterte briefed about Benham Rise after mix-up)
"In the exercise of its sovereign rights and jurisdiction, the Philippines has the power to designate its submarine areas with appropriate nomenclature for purposes of the national mapping system," the EO also said.
With the order, all official maps and charts of the Philippines will use "Philippine Rise" to refer to the underwater plateau.
Back in April, the Philippine government raised the possibility of renaming Benham Rise to emphasize the country's sovereign rights and jurisdiction over the area. (READ: Philippines: Benham Rise belongs to Filipinos)