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Section 1, Article 1

of the 1987 Constitution

The national territory comprises the Philippine
archipelago, with all the islands and waters embraced
therein, and all other territories over which the Philippines
has sovereignty or jurisdiction, consisting of its terrestrial,
fluvial and aerial domains, including its territorial sea, the
seabed, the subsoil, the insular shelves, and other submarine
areas. The waters around, between, and connecting the
islands of the archipelago, regardless of their breadth and
dimensions, form part of internal waters of the Philippines.
Necessity of Constitutional
Provision on National Territory

1. Binding force of such provision under international law.

2. Value of provision defining our national territory.
3. Acquisition of other territories.
National Territory of the Philippines comprises of:

1. The Philippine archipelago with all the islands and

waters embraced therein;
2. All other territories over which the Philippines has
sovereignty or jurisdiction.
3. The terrestrial, fluvial and aerial domains including the
territorial sea, the seabed, the subsoil, the insular shelves,
and other submarine areas thereof; and
4. The internal waters.
Other territories over which the Philippines
has sovereignty or jurisdiction
1. Philippine claim to Sabah
• Sabah is the northern part of Borneo.
• Coastline of 800 to 900 miles
• South China Sea in the West and North
• Sulu Sea in the Northeast
• Celebes Sea in the East
• It is 1,143km from Manila and 1678 km from Kuala Lumpur.
The Sultan of Sulu was granted the territory of Sabah as
a prize for helping The Sultan of Brunei against his enemies
and from then on that part of Borneo is recognized as part
of the Sultan of Sulu’s sovereignty. But in 1878, Baron Von
Overbeck, a German representative of the British North
Borneo Co. and his partner Alfred Dent, a British
representative of the British North Borneo Co. leased the
territory known as “Sabah.”
2. Philippine claim to Spratly Island.
The Spratly Islands group consists of
a large number of banks, reefs, cays and
islands stretching from a point. The
Spratly or some part thereof has been
variously claimed by China (both the
People's Republic of China and the
Republic of China), Vietnam, France,
Japan, the Philippines, and, also
Philippine island closest to the incorporated cluster decree cited a number of
bases for the claim to title, namely:
(1)the area is part of the continental margin of the Philippine archipelago;
(2) the islands do not belong to any state, but by reason of history, indispensable
need, and effective occupation and control established in accordance with
international law, should now be deemed subject to the sovereignty of the
Philippines; and
(3) claims by other states over the area had lapse by reason of abandonment
and cannot prevail over that of the Philippines on legal, historical and equitable
Currently the Philippines is occupying
ten features (seven islands, three
• Pagasa Island (Thitu Island)- 37.2 ha. (2nd largest)
• Likas Island (West York Island)- 18.6 ha. (3rd largest)
• Parola Island (Northeast Cay)- 12.7 ha. (5th largest)
• Lawak Island (Nanshan Island)- 7.93 ha. (8th largest)
• Kuta Island (Loaita Island)- 6.45 ha. (10th largest), kuta means fortress
• Patag Island (Flat Island)- 0.57 ha. (14th largest)
• Panata Island (Lankiam Cay)- 0.44 ha. (the smallest)
• Rizal Reef (Commodore Reef)- named after Dr. José P. Rizal, the national hero of
the Philippines
• Balagtas Reef (Irving Reef)- named after Francisco Balagtas, a famous Filipino poet
• Ayungin Reef (Second Thomas Reef)- a Philippine-endemic fish species
Other areas included in the
Philippine archipelago.
The Philippine territory consists of its terrestrial, fluvial, and aerial
domains. Included in its fluvial domains, in addition to the external
waters, are:
1. Territorial sea.
2. The seabed
3. The subsoil
4. Insular shelves
5. Other submarine areas
Three-fold division of navigable

From the standpoint of international law, the waters of the earth are divided into:
1. Inland or internal waters
2. Territorial sea (Supra)
3. High or open seas
Important distances with respect to the
waters around the Philippines:
• Territorial Sea 12 nautical miles (n.m.)
• Contiguous Zone 12 n.m. from the
edge of the territorial sea
• -Exclusive Economic Zone 200 n.m.
from the baseline
Territorial Sea
• The belt of the sea located
between the coast and
• internal waters of the coastal
state on the one
• hand, and the high seas on the
other, extending up
• to 12 nautical miles from the
low water mark.
Contiguous Zone
• Extends up to 12 nautical
miles from the territorial
• sea. Although not part of the
• territory, the coastal State
may exercise jurisdiction
• to prevent infringement of
customs, fiscal,
• immigration or sanitary laws.
Exclusive Economic Zone
The state in the EEZ exercises
jurisdiction with regard to:
1. the establishment and use of artificial
islands, installations, and structures;
2. marine scientific research;
3. the protection and preservation of
marine environment