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Archipelagic doctrine:

The "Archipelagic Doctrine" goes back to March 7, 1955, when the Philippines government lodged a formal note with the United
Nations, as follows: "All waters around, between and connecting different islands belonging to the Philippine Archipelago,
irrespective of their width or dimension, are necessary appurtenances of its land territory, forming an integral part of the national or
inland waters, subject to the exclusive sovereignty of the Philippines. What that means is that (according to the Philippines
government) the Philippines OWNS all of the seas between the thousands of islands that are Philippine territory. In terms of
ownership, it is as if the seas did not exist at all, and that the Philippines is not an archipelago at all, but instead is one huge
connected land mass. This is important, because the seas surrounding and connecting the islands of the Philippines are a resource of
great wealth for the nation.


Baselines are reference lines drawn by a coastal or archipelagic State using different methods as discussed below. They are used to
measure the breadth of the territorial sea (12nm), contiguous zone (24 nm), EEZ (200nm) and continental shelf (up to 350nm). Also,
the waters enclosed by the baselines are called archipelagic waters over which an archipelagic State exercises sovereignty. According
to the UNCLOS, there are three methods that can be employed in determining a States baselines, namely:

1. Normal Baseline, according to Art. 5, is the low-water line along the coast as marked on large-scale charts officially recognized by
the coastal State.
2. Straight Baseline, according to Art. 7, can be employed if ever the coastlines are indented and cut into or there is a fringe of
islands along the coast in its immediate vicinity.
3. Archipelagic Baseline, according to Art. 47, is a method of joining the outermost points of the outermost islands and drying reefs
of an archipelago provided that within such baselines are included the main island and an area in which the ratio of the area of the
water to the area of the land, including atolls, is between 1:1 and 9:1.

Of the three methods, the archipelagic baselines method is most applicable and advantageous to an archipelago such as ours.
Otherwise, to use either the Normal or Straight baseline methods, which are primarily designed for coastal States, would effectively
waive our status as an archipelagic State and lose much of the archipelagic waters as defined above


The National Territory The National Territory The National Territory

The national territory comprises the Section 1. The national territory Section 1. The Philippines comprises all
Philippine archipelago, with all the comprises the Philippine archipelago, the territory ceded to the United States
islands and waters embraced therein, with all the islands and waters by the Treaty of Paris concluded
and all other territories over which the embraced therein, and all the other between the United States and Spain on
Philippines has sovereignty or territories belonging to the Philippines the tenth day of December, eighteen
jurisdiction, consisting of its terrestrial, by historic or legal title, including the hundred and ninety-eight, the limits
fluvial, and aerial domains, including its territorial sea, the air space, the subsoil, which are set forth in Article III of said
territorial sea, the seabed, the subsoil, the sea-bed, the insular shelves, and treaty, together with all the islands
the insular shelves, and other the submarine areas over which the embraced in the treaty concluded at
submarine areas. The waters around, Philippines has sovereignty or Washington between the United States
between, and connecting the islands of jurisdiction. The waters around, and Spain on the seventh day of
the archipelago, regardless of their between, and connecting the islands of November, nineteen hundred, and the
breadth and dimensions, form part of the archipelago, irrespective of their treaty concluded between the United
the internal waters of the Philippines. breadth and dimensions, form part of States and Great Britain on the second
the internal waters of the Philippines. day of January, nineteen hundred and
thirty, and all territory over which the
present Government of the Philippine
Islands exercises jurisdiction.