Co-Sponsorship Speech on Senate Bill No. 2450: Blue Economy Act

Co-Sponsorship Speech on SBN 2450 under Committee Report No. 138 

Blue Economy Act

Note: SJE is an author of SBN 2377, which was substituted by SBN 2450

Mr. President, my esteemed colleagues: 

It is an honor to co-sponsor SBN 2450 or the Blue Economy Act today as we celebrate the Maritime and Archipelagic Nation Awareness Month whose theme this year is “Kapuluan, Kabuluhan, Kaunlaran”.

Our country is host to an abundance of marine resources. The Philippines has a total territorial water area, inclusive of our Exclusive Economic Zone, of 2.2 million square kilometers. Latest available data from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources show that in 2020, total mariculture production amounted to some 150,507 metric tons[1]. The share of the Ocean Economy to our Gross Domestic Product in 2021 was at 3.6%, which amounted to PhP 707.80 billion[2]. Ocean-based industries also employed 1.99 million Filipinos in 2021, with a share of 4.5% to the total employment for the year[3]. Our country, with its vast maritime territory and resources, is in a position to benefit from this proposed measure which will ensure good maritime governance in the midst of climate change. 

Under the proposed measure Mr. President, we will be establishing a framework that will employ a whole-of-nation approach and environmentally-sound and sustainable practices for the development, management, protection, and preservation of our marine and coastal resources. Simply put, ang Blue Economy Act ay magpapahintulot ng responsable at likas-kayang paggamit ng ating malawak na yamang dagat

Under the bill, the Blue Economy Council is established to formulate an integrated strategy to strengthen, grow, and sustain the Philippines’ blue economy, integrated marine and coastal management, and ecosystem-based management of coastal and marine resources.

The recent incident of the damage on the seabed of Rozul Reef and Escoda Shoal have brought to light the importance of this measure. A call to action, if you will Mr. President, that the concept of Blue Economy goes beyond paper and be put into practical application at the soonest time possible as this will ensure that our maritime resources will be developed and protected, helping address the pressing concern of food security, employment, and a sustainable future for all our fellowmen. 

Ang bill na ito ay lubos na makakatulong na ang marine wealth ng ating bansa ay maprotektahan at umunlad, at ma-aaddress nito ang concern natin ng food security, self-sufficiency at trabaho para sa mgaPilipino. 

Maraming salamat, Ginoong Pangulo. 

[1] Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources – Philippine Fisheries Profile 2020

[2] Philippine Statistics Authority – 2021 Philippine Ocean Economy Satellite Accounts

[3] Ibid.