Miriam College students taking up COM-109: Fundamentals of Journalism attended a Philippine Communication Society (PCS) Conference entitled “Communicating the Dispute on the West Philippine Sea” last October 23, 2015 in the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Auditorium.
The keynote speaker, Mr. Charles Jose, Assistant Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) discussed matters on sovereignty, territorial integrity and economic relations. His three main points regarding the issue were as follows: 1) The legitimate rights in South China Sea/West Philippine Sea is enclosed in the international law, 2) That China is claiming what is rightfully ours, and 3) We, as Filipinos, should defend our territory.
Based from the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), also called the constitution of oceans, 80% of the waters China is claiming rightfully belongs to the Philippines. China is using the so called “9-dash line” as basis for claiming their surrounding water. The Philippine Government, on the other hand, is determined to defend what is legitimately ours through diplomatic and legal track, by doing peaceful settlement of disputes and using the rule of law. The general aim of the PCS Conference is to promote awareness on local and national issues to the Filipino youth, as they are who will inherit the country and its oceans for the future.
Miriam College students actively participated in the open forum part of the conference, along with students from various universities such as Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Pamantasan Lungsod ng Maynila, and University of the Philippines.