Executive Order No. 612





WHEREAS, Executive Order No. 738 dated October 3, 1981 established the Cabinet Committee on the Treaty on the Law of the Sea (CABCOM-LOS) tasked with the implementation of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in all its aspects;


WHEREAS, Executive Order No. 328 dated June 5, 1988 reconstituted the CABCOM-LOS by increasing its membership from six (6) to twelve (12);


WHEREAS, Executive Order No. 186 dated July 12, 1994 expanded the coverage of the CABCOM-LOS and renamed it as the Cabinet Committee on Maritime and Ocean Affairs (CABCOM-MOA);


WHEREAS, Executive Order No. 132 dated July 30, 1999 strengthened the CABCOM-MOA and its supporting mechanisms by establishing a Technical Committee, with the CABCOM-MOA Secretariat being renamed as the Maritime and Ocean Affairs Center (MOAC);


WHEREAS, Executive Order No. 37 dated September 21, 2001 abolished the CABCOM-MOA and upgraded the status of the MOAC by designating it as an attached agency of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), thereby expanding the functions and responsibilities of the DFA Secretariat upon which the functions of the defunct CABCOM-MOA was devolved;


WHEREAS, the effective development, implementation and continuous updating of a Philippine marine policy is of vital importance to the country as an archipelagic State and maritime nation, defining its sovereignty, national security, territorial integrity and control over marine, mineral, oil and other alternative sources of energy from the ocean, and other resources;


WHEREAS, the vital significance of the oceans and seas and its governance is universally acknowledged and enshrined in the 1982 UNCLOS;


WHEREAS, the Philippines is a signatory to various international agreements on the seas and oceans, principally the UNCLOS, which entered into force on November 16, 1994, as well as other international instruments such as the Rio Declaration and Agenda 21;


WHEREAS, the various policy issues related to oceans and maritime policy impacting on the Philippines as an archipelagic State, demand no less than a dedicated, focused, expert and full-time office with ample resources to address the multifaceted aspects of maritime concerns;


WHEREAS, Section 20, Chapter 7, Title I, Book III of EO No. 292 grants the President residual powers to reorganize the Executive Branch of government.


NOW, THEREFORE, I, GLORIA MACAPAGAL ARROYO, President of the Republic of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by law, do hereby order:


SECTION 1.  The Commission on Maritime and Ocean Affairs.  – The Department of Foreign Affairs-Maritime and Ocean Affairs Center (DFA-MOAC) is hereby reorganized and immediately set up under the Office of the President as the Commission on Maritime and Ocean Affairs (CMOA).


SEC. 2.  Mandate.  – The CMOA shall have overall jurisdiction and direction over policy-formulation, implementation and coordination with other departments and experts, both foreign as well as local, on maritime issues.


SEC. 3.  Composition.  – The CMOA shall be composed of the Executive Secretary as Chair, the Secretary of Justice and the Secretary of Foreign Affairs as Vice-Chairs, and the following as members: Department of National Defense (DND), National Security Council (NSC), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), Department of Tourism (DOT), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), the Solicitor General (SolGen), the Chief Presidential Legal Counsel (CPLC), National Mapping and Resources Information Authority (NAMRIA), and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).


The CMOA chair may call on other agencies for assistance in the performance of its mandate and tasks.


SEC. 4.  Role of DFA.  – The DFA shall remain the Lead Agency in the conduct of the Philippines’ participation in international meetings, conferences, and negotiations on maritime and oceans policy including maritime boundary delimitation. It shall also function as the Secretariat of the CMOA.


SEC. 5.  Funding.  – The CMOA shall be provided with an initial funding of Fifty Million Pesos (Php 50,000,000.00) to be drawn from funds of the Office of the President subject to the established accounting and auditing rules and regulations. Appropriations for the succeeding fiscal years shall be incorporated in the General Appropriations Act.


SEC. 6.  Technical Working Group.  – The CMOA may create such Technical Working Groups as may be necessary to accomplish its mandate and tasks.


SEC. 7.  Separability.  – Any portion or provision of this Executive Order that may be declared unconstitutional shall not have the effect of nullifying its other portions or provisions, as long as such remaining portions can still be given effect.


SEC. 8.  Repeal.  – All executive orders, rules and regulations and other issuances or parts thereof, which are inconsistent with this Executive Order, are hereby revoked, amended, or modified accordingly.


SEC. 9.  Effectivity.  – This Executive Order shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in a national newspaper of general circulation.


Done in the City of Manila, this 27th day of March in the year of Our Lord, Two Thousand and Seven.


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