Senate panel to craft new map to counter China's 10-dash-line map

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 14) — A Senate panel will be crafting an updated Philippine map in response to the 10-dash-line shown on China's new standard national map.

"Mga limang hearing ito kasi [We will have about five hearings because] we are trying to craft our own map," Sen. Francis Tolentino said Wednesday.

The Senate special committee on maritime and admiralty zones will hold its first meeting on Thursday.

National Security Council (NSC) spokesperson Jonathan Malaya, meanwhile, clarified that the Senate's Philippine map will be different from the map that the agency is currently working on.

READ: New standard map to follow PH rights under 2016 arbitral ruling, UNCLOS - NSC

Tolentino earlier filed Senate Bill 2294, or the Philippine Maritime Zones Act, which aims to declare maritime zones under the jurisdiction of the Philippines based on the standards set by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea or UNCLOS.

Unlike the Philippine Baselines Law, Tolentino said SB 2294 will encompass exclusive economic zones (EEZ), the continental shelf, and even the underground features belonging to the country.

"Idadagdag na natin yung Benham Rise at Philippine Rise doon sa kabila," the senator said.

"Iyon ang kabuuan, West Philippine Sea na tayo, ma-institutionalize na rin iyan," he added.

[Translation: We will add Benham Rise and Philippine Rise on the other side. Overall, we're in the West Philippine Sea, that will be institutionalized.]

The bill also intends to clarify the geographical extent of the Philippine maritime domain, and the legal powers that the Philippines may exercise over it.

Last month, Beijing released its 10-dash-line map, which further expanded its claims in the disputed South China Sea.

The Philippines filed a diplomatic protest over the map that overlaps with its EEZ.