Author Topic: RA 9522: Archipelagic baseline of the Philippines  (Read 9511 times)


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RA 9522: Archipelagic baseline of the Philippines
« on: February 26, 2017, 11:06:53 AM »
Republic Act No. 9522             March 10, 2009


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled::

Section 1. Section 1 of Republic Act No. 3046, entitled "An Act to Define the Baselines of the Territorial Sea of the Philippines", as amended by Section 1 of Republic Act No. 5446, is hereby amended to read as follows:

Section 1. The baselines of the Philippines archipelago are hereby defined and described specifically as follows:

Basepoint Number

[See here for list of coordinates: ]

Section 2. The baseline in the following areas over which the Philippines likewise exercises sovereignty and jurisdiction shall be determined as "Regime of Islands" under the Republic of the Philippines consistent with Article 121 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS):

a) The Kalayaan Island Group as constituted under Presidential Decree No. 1596; and

b) Bajo de Masinloc, also known as Scarborough Shoal.

Section 3. This Act affirms that the Republic of the Philippines has dominion, sovereignty and jurisdiction over all portions of the national territory as defined in the Constitution and by provisions of applicable laws including, without limitation, Republic Act No. 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991, as amended.

Section 4. This Act, together with the geographic coordinates and the chart and maps indicating the aforesaid baselines, shall be deposited and registered with the Secretary General of the United Nations.

Section 5. The National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA) shall forthwith produce and publish charts and maps of the appropriate scale clearly representing the delineation of basepoints and baselines as set forth in this Act.

Section 6. The amount necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act shall be provided in a supplemental budyet or included in the General Appropriations Act of the year of its enactment into law.

Section 7. If any portion or provision of this Act is declared unconstitutional or invalid the other portions or provisions hereof which are not affected thereby shall continue to be in full force and effect.

Section 8. The provisions of Republic Act No. 3046, as amended by Republic Act No. 5446, and all other laws, decrees, executive orders, rules and issuances inconsistent with this Act are hereby amended or modified accordingly.

Section 9. This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days following its publication in the Official Gazette or in any two (2) newspaper of general circulation.


Speaker of the House of Representatives

President of the Senate

This Act which is a consolidation of Senate Bill No. 2699 and House Bill No. 3216 was finally passed by the Senate and the House of Representative on February 17, 2009.

Secretary General
House of Represenatives

Secretary of Senate

Approved: MAR 10, 2009

President of the Philippines


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Re: RA 9522: Archipelagic baseline of the Philippines
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2018, 07:52:41 AM »



Breadth of the territorial sea

Every State has the right to establish the breadth of its territorial sea up to a limit not exceeding 12 nautical miles, measured from baselines determined in accordance with this Convention.


Outer limit of the territorial sea

The outer limit of the territorial sea is the line every point of which is at a distance from the nearest point of the baseline equal to the breadth of the territorial sea.


Normal baseline

Except where otherwise provided in this Convention, the normal baseline for measuring the breadth of the territorial sea is the low-water line along the coast as marked on large-scale charts officially recognized by the coastal State.



In the case of islands situated on atolls or of islands having fringing reefs, the baseline for measuring the breadth of the territorial sea is the seaward low-water line of the reef, as shown by the appropriate symbol on charts officially recognized by the coastal State.


Straight baselines

1.   In localities where the coastline is deeply indented and cut into, or if there is a fringe of islands along the coast in its immediate vicinity, the method of straight baselines joining appropriate points may be employed in drawing the baseline from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured.

2.   Where because of the presence of a delta and other natural conditions the coastline is highly unstable, the appropriate points may be selected along the furthest seaward extent of the low-water line and, notwithstanding subsequent regression of the low-water line, the straight baselines shall remain effective until changed by the coastal State in accordance with this Convention.

3.   The drawing of straight baselines must not depart to any appreciable extent from the general direction of the coast, and the sea areas lying within the lines must be sufficiently closely linked to the land domain to be subject to the regime of internal waters.

4.   Straight baselines shall not be drawn to and from low-tide elevations, unless lighthouses or similar installations which are permanently above sea level have been built on them or except in instances where the drawing of baselines to and from such elevations has received general international recognition.

5.   Where the method of straight baselines is applicable under paragraph 1, account may be taken, in determining particular baselines, of economic interests peculiar to the region concerned, the reality and the importance of which are clearly evidenced by long usage.

6.   The system of straight baselines may not be applied by a State in such a manner as to cut off the territorial sea of another State from the high seas or an exclusive economic zone.


Internal waters

1.   Except as provided in Part IV, waters on the landward side of the baseline of the territorial sea form part of the internal waters of the State.

2.   Where the establishment of a straight baseline in accordance with the method set forth in article 7 has the effect of enclosing as internal waters areas which had not previously been considered as such, a right of innocent passage as provided in this Convention shall exist in those waters.


Mouths of rivers

If a river flows directly into the sea, the baseline shall be a straight line across the mouth of the river between points on the low-water line of its banks.



1.   This article relates only to bays the coasts of which belong to a single State.

2.   For the purposes of this Convention, a bay is a well-marked indentation whose penetration is in such proportion to the width of its mouth as to contain land-locked waters and constitute more than a mere curvature of the coast. An indentation shall not, however, be regarded as a bay unless its area is as large as, or larger than, that of the semi-circle whose diameter is a line drawn across the mouth of that indentation.

3.   For the purpose of measurement, the area of an indentation is that lying between the low-water mark around the shore of the indentation and a line joining the low-water mark of its natural entrance points. Where, because of the presence of islands, an indentation has more than one mouth, the semi-circle shall be drawn on a line as long as the sum total of the lengths of the lines across the different mouths. Islands within an indentation shall be included as if they were part of the water area of the indentation.

4.   If the distance between the low-water marks of the natural entrance points of a bay does not exceed 24 nautical miles, a closing line may be drawn between these two low-water marks, and the waters enclosed thereby shall be considered as internal waters.

5.   Where the distance between the low-water marks of the natural entrance points of a bay exceeds 24 nautical miles, a straight baseline of 24 nautical miles shall be drawn within the bay in such a manner as to enclose the maximum area of water that is possible with a line of that length.

6.   The foregoing provisions do not apply to so-called "historic" bays, or in any case where the system of straight baselines provided for in article 7 is applied.



For the purpose of delimiting the territorial sea, the outermost permanent harbour works which form an integral part of the harbour system are regarded as forming part of the coast. Off-shore installations and artificial islands shall not be considered as permanent harbour works.



Roadsteads which are normally used for the loading, unloading and anchoring of ships, and which would otherwise be situated wholly or partly outside the outer limit of the territorial sea, are included in the territorial sea.


Low-tide elevations

1.   A low-tide elevation is a naturally formed area of land which is surrounded by and above water at low tide but submerged at high tide. Where a low-tide elevation is situated wholly or partly at a distance not exceeding the breadth of the territorial sea from the mainland or an island, the low-water line on that elevation may be used as the baseline for measuring the breadth of the territorial sea.

2.   Where a low-tide elevation is wholly situated at a distance exceeding the breadth of the territorial sea from the mainland or an island, it has no territorial sea of its own.


Combination of methods for determining baselines

The coastal State may determine baselines in turn by any of the methods provided for in the foregoing articles to suit different conditions.


Delimitation of the territorial sea between States

with opposite or adjacent coasts

Where the coasts of two States are opposite or adjacent to each other, neither of the two States is entitled, failing agreement between them to the contrary, to extend its territorial sea beyond the median line every point of which is equidistant from the nearest points on the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial seas of each of the two States is measured. The above provision does not apply, however, where it is necessary by reason of historic title or other special circumstances to delimit the territorial seas of the two States in a way which is at variance therewith.


Charts and lists of geographical coordinates

1.   The baselines for measuring the breadth of the territorial sea determined in accordance with articles 7, 9 and 10, or the limits derived therefrom, and the lines of delimitation drawn in accordance with articles 12 and 15 shall be shown on charts of a scale or scales adequate for ascertaining their position. Alternatively, a list of geographical coordinates of points, specifying the geodetic datum, may be substituted.

2.   The coastal State shall give due publicity to such charts or lists of geographical coordinates and shall deposit a copy of each such chart or list with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.