The scope of the Philippine territory is found in Article I of the 1987 Philippine Constitution. It provides: “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 the internal waters of the Philippines. For purposes of analysis, Philippine national territory includes the following: (a) the Philippine archipelago, with all the islands and waters embraced therein; (b) all other territories over which the Philippines has sovereignty or jurisdiction consisting of territorial, fluvial and aerial domains; (c) the territorial sea, the seabed, the subsoil, and insular shelves and other submarine areas; and (d) the waters around, between, and connecting the islands of the archipelago, regardless of their breadth and dimensions.
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Territorial sea is that part of the sea extending 12 nautical miles (19 kms) from the low-water mark. It is also called the marginal sea, the marginal belt or the marine belt. Seabed is the land that holds the sea, lying beyond the seashore, including mineral and natural resources. It is at the top portion of the submarine area. The subsoil is everything beneath the surface soil and the seabed including mineral and natural resources.
Insural shelves are the submerged portions of a continent or offshore island, which slope gently seaward from the low waterline to a point where a substantial break in grade occurs, at which point the bottom slopes seaward at a considerable increase in slope until the great ocean depths are reached; and Other submarine areas refers to those which are under the territorial sea. They are ottherwise referred to as seamount, trough, trench, deep, bank, shoal, and reef.