National Mapping and Resource Information Authority Deputy Administrator Efren Carandang (PNA photo by Noel Veloso)

MANILA – Filipino ocean governance expert Efren Carandang has secured a seat at the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS).

In a statement, the Philippine Permanent Mission to the UN said this is the first time that the Philippines will serve in the UN body.

"(The Philippines) wins a seat in the Asia-Pacific Group (APG) of the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) 2023-2028 at elections held during the 32nd Meeting of the States Parties to UNCLOS," it said in a tweet Thursday.

"This is the first time that the Philippines, an archipelagic state, will serve in the Commission. (The Philippines') election promotes the principle of rotation, inclusion, and representation among UNCLOS States," it added.

The Philippines competed with eight other candidates under the APG, and successfully reached the required majority of votes, with 113 votes from a total of 164 states present after "four tough rounds of voting".

Carandang, who currently serves as the deputy administrator of the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA), has been hailed by the Permanent Mission as one of the country's "most eminently qualified technical experts for the CLCS, with quality management skills."

He was part of the core team that developed Manila's April 2009 submission for the 13-million-hectare Philippine Rise, formerly known as the Benham Rise, which had been recognized by the UN body in 2012.

Carandang, in his personal capacity, will serve a term of five years.

Along with 20 other CLCS members, he will be tasked to consider the submissions made by coastal states concerning the outer limits of their continental shelf extending beyond 200 nautical miles from baselines and make recommendations based on the scientific and technical data provided by the state.

The CLCS was created under the UNCLOS, consisting of 21 experts in the fields of geology, geophysics, and hydrography. (PNA)