Political Law (Constitutional Law) – Article I

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Political Law (Constitutional Law) – Article I


The national territory of the Philippines comprises:

  1. The Philippine archipelago
  2. With all the islands and waters embraced therein
  3. And all other territories over which the Philippines has sovereignty or jurisdiction
  4. Consisting of its
    1. Terrestrial
    2. Fluvial; and                                                                       CODE:  TFA
    3. Aerial domains
  5. Including its
    1. Territorial sea
    2. The seabed
    3. The subsoil                                                                        CODE: TSSIO
    4. The insular shelves; and
    5. The other submarine areas
  6. The waters
    1. Around
    2. Between and
    3. Connecting
    4. The islands of the archipelago                                           CODE:  ABCI

Regardless of their breadth and dimensions

Form part of the INTERNAL WATERS of the Philippines

Definition of Archipelago

An archipelago is a body of water studded with islands.  The Philippine archipelago is that body of water studded with islands which is delineated in the Treaty of Paris (1898), as amended by the Treaty of Washington (1900) and the Treaty of Great Britain (1930).

Definition of “all other territories over which the Philippines has sovereignty or jurisdiction”

It includes any territory that presently belongs or might in the future belong to the Philippines through any of the internationally accepted modes of acquiring territory.

Archipelagic principle

Two elements:

  1. The definition of internal waters (as provided above);
  2. The straight baseline method of delineating the territorial sea – consists of drawing straight lines connecting appropriate points on the coast without departing to any appreciable extent from the general direction of the coast.

Important distances with respect to the waters around the Philippines

1.  Territorial sea                      -           12 nautical miles (n.m.)

2.  Contiguous zone                 -           12 n.m. from the edge of the territorial sea

3.  Exclusive economic zone   -          200 n.m. from the baseline [includes (1) and (2)]



Political Law (Constitutional Law) Reviewer & Memory Aid

Ateneo Central Bar Operations 2001