Marcos: PH to propose ‘fishing rights map’ to China after near-collision in WPS

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 1) — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Monday said the government would identify fishing grounds in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) that would be proposed to China, days after the near-collision of a Chinese ship and a Philippine vessel in the disputed waters.

According Marcos, China has “agreed again to sit down” to discuss Filipinos’ fishing rights in the WPS.

The president also directed the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Department of Foreign Affairs “to put together perhaps a map of these fishing grounds” within the Philippines’ territory.

“Sasabihin natin, ito Pilipinas talaga ito (We will say that these areas are covered by the Philippines) and we’ll see what they say when we give them our proposal,” he added.

Marcos also said he already raised to the Chinese government the recent incident in the WPS, which he stressed has become “a little more dangerous.”

READ: PCG reports near-collision due to Chinese ship’s ‘dangerous’ maneuvers in Ayungin Shoal

He then urged Beijing to form a communications team to avoid misunderstandings in the WPS.

“Talagang kamuntik na nagbanggaan (They nearly collided) and that will cause a great many... that can cause casualties on both sides,” he said.

“And that’s exactly what we want to avoid kaya’t binilin ko sa kanila ‘yung aking sinasabi na mayroong high level na communication, tapusin na natin, buuin natin. Hindi pa natin nabubuo,” he added.

[Translation: And that's exactly what we want to avoid, so I advised them that there should be high-level communication, let's finish it, let's build it. We have yet to complete it.]

Marcos said they are just waiting for a list of names from China, noting that the Philippine government already completed building its team.