Metro Manila – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has installed five additional sovereign markers, or navigational buoys, in “critical areas” in the West Philippine Sea (WPS), the agency said Sunday.

Sovereign markers were installed in Patag Island, Kota Island, Panata Islands, fishing ground in Balagtas, and Juan Felipe Reef from May 10 to 12. It plans to install six more this year.

In May 2022, the PCG installed five sovereign markers near the Likas Island, Parola Island, Lawak Island, and Pag-asa Island.

According to the PCG, the installation of buoys with the Philippine flag signifies the country’s sovereign rights and jurisdiction over its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

“It underscores our adherence to global statutes, specifically the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which acknowledges coastal states’ entitlement to manage their EEZs,” it said.

“These endeavors by the PCG intensify the country’s strong presence, administration and control over the Philippine-claimed features in the West Philippine Sea,” it added.

The installation of sovereign markers in WPS comes amid aggressive actions by China in the disputed waters, which the Department of Foreign Affairs said is a daily occurrence.

In April, the PCG reported that a Chinese coast guard vessel made dangerous maneuvers in the vicinity of Ayungin shoal, which led to a near-collision with a PCG ship. The United States and Australia urged China to desist from provocative conduct in the WPS.

Hundreds of Chinese vessels were also spotted lingering in the Philippines’ EEZ, despite being asked to leave.