Environmental Concerns Rise as Dead Corals Pile Up Near Pag-asa Island
In the West Philippine Sea, environmental concerns and government officials are sounding the alarm as piles of dead corals have overtaken Sandy Cay 2, a sandbar located just 2 miles off Pag-asa (Thitu) Island. This disturbing discovery raises concerns about potential environmental damage and territorial disputes, with both the Philippines and China claiming these territories as their own.
In recent weeks, the West Philippine Sea has become a focal point of concern due to the alarming accumulation of dead corals near Pag-asa Island.
Sandy Cay 2, a small sandbar that holds strategic importance in territorial claims, has been inundated with heaps of dead corals.
This has sparked worries about the environmental impact and territorial disputes between the Philippines and China.
The dead corals, reaching heights of up to 2 meters, have raised questions about deliberate dumping, possibly in an attempt to reclaim the area.
Environmentalists are deeply concerned about the damage to marine life and the ecosystem.
This revelation follows reports of coral destruction and harvesting for the construction of artificial islands in the West Philippine Sea.
Sandy Cay 2 and its neighboring islet, Sandy Cay 1, are part of the Philippines’ territorial claims but are also contested by China.
China has been increasingly assertive in the West Philippine Sea, with Chinese maritime militia vessels reportedly posing as fishing boats.
The presence of Chinese Coast Guard ships further complicates the situation.
The National Security Council (NSC) has launched an investigation into the dead coral piles, aiming to determine the responsible parties and the circumstances behind this environmental damage.
The Philippine government has accused China of harvesting and dumping crushed corals, but verification is essential before taking further action.
The Department of Justice, the Office of the Solicitor General, and the Philippine Coast Guard are set to discuss potential legal actions against China for alleged environmental destruction within the country’s exclusive economic zone.
This includes the possibility of filing a complaint before the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), as was done in 2013 when the PCA ruled in favor of the Philippines Concerning territorial conflicts in the South China Sea.
The accumulation of dead corals near Pag-asa Island serves as a stark reminder of the complex issues surrounding environmental preservation and territorial claims in the West Philippine Sea. As investigations continue, the international community will closely watch the developments in this region.