BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES
PROCLAMATION NO. 57
DECLARING THE MONTH OF MAY OF EVERY YEAR AS “THE MONTH OF THE OCEAN” IN THE PHILIPPINES AND PROVIDING FOR THE CONDUCT OF ACTIVITIES FOR ITS CELEBRATION
WHEREAS, the Philippines is an archipelago endowed with vast coastal and ocean resources that include critical habitats such as mangroves, coral reefs, seagrass beds. alluring seascapes, and rare marine flora and fauna, all which provide both economic and ecological benefits;
WHEREAS, the Constitution recognizes the responsibility of the state to protect the nation’s marine wealth in its archipelagic waters, territorial seas and Exclusive Economic Zone and to reserve its use and enjoyment exclusively to Filipino citizens;
WHEREAS, the Philippines supports global initiatives towards environmental management and protection by adopting and developing a Philippine Agenda 21 in response to Agenda 21 of the United Nations, and by ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea;
WHEREAS, the year 1998 has been declared by the UN General Assembly as the International Year of the Ocean and has provided a “window of opportunity for governments, organizations, and individuals to become aware of the ocean and to consider the actions needed to undertake common responsibility to sustain the greatest common heritage we have and without which we cannot exist”;
WHEREAS, various national government agencies have been mandated to promote sustainable development of coastal and marine resources and ensure that the marine environment is protected from all forms of degradation;
WHEREAS, the month of May is the peak fishing season in the Philippines and thus provides an appropriate venue for direct beneficiaries to show their support for management initiatives pertaining to the oceans.
NOW THEREFORE I JOSEPH EJERCITO ESTRADA, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by law, do hereby declare the month of May of every year as “The Month of the Ocean” in the Philippines.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department of Agriculture (DA), through the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), in collaboration with other government agencies, all local governments, state colleges and universities, government-owned or controlled corporations whose operations are directly or indirectly relevant to the development and management of our ocean resources, non-governmental organizations, people’s organizations, and the private sector, shall spearhead the observance of “The Month of the Ocean” of each year through the conduct of activities that highlight conservation, protection and sustainable management of Philippine coastal and ocean resources;
All national agencies and local governments which are mandated to perform ocean resource management functions are hereby directed to provide full support to the observance of the “The Month of the Ocean in the Philippines”;
The DENR and the DA-BFAR are hereby directed to establish coordinative and oversight mechanisms to all organizations and institutions involved in the monthly celebration of the month of the ocean.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the Republic of the Philippines to be affixed.
Done in the City of Manila, this 11th day of December, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety eight.
(Sgd.) JOSEPH EJERCITO ESTRADA
By the President:
(Sgd.) RONALDO B. ZAMORA