Sunday | June 11, 2017
The military will plant an underwater Philippine flag in Benham Rise, now known as Philippine Rise, this coming Independence Day, a military official said Thursday.
"The activity intends to assert our patriotic ownership of this maritime zone and raise awareness of its strategic value," said Lt. Col. Isagani Nato, spokesman of the Armed Forces' Northern Luzon Command.
The flag will be planted by military divers 54 meters below sea level on a cement foundation. The flag itself is made from fiberglass while the post is made from stainless steel.
The Philippines will celebrate its 119th Independence Day anniversary on Monday, June 12.
President Rodrigo Duterte signed Executive Order No. 25 on May 16 to change the name of Benham Rise to Philippine Rise, after Chinese research vessels were spotted surveying the region.
The Philippine Rise, a 13-million hectare undersea plateau off Aurora province, is part of the country's exclusive economic zone, as confirmed by the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf.
Nato said the "historical endeavor" will be participated in by Philippine Coast Guard, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, and civilian volunteers.
He also said that on June 15, Ship Deck Flag Raising ceremony will be held in the area, on board the newly-delivered BRP Davao del Sur. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana is expected to grace the event.