Article I (National Territory) of the 1987 Constitution
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. (Article I, 1987 Constitution)
The national territory covers three classes:
- The Philippine archipelago
- All other territories over which the Philippines has sovereignty and jurisdiction
- The internal waters, territorial waters, territorial sea, air space, subsoil, seabed, insular shelves and other submarine areas.
Formerly, under the 1973 Constitution as amended, the phraseology was “all other territories belonging to the Philippines by historic or legal right”. These include territories over which the Philippines exercises sovereignty and jurisdiction or any territory which might belong in the future to the Philippines through any of the internationally recognized modes of acquiring territory.