The provincial board has called the attention of law enforcement authorities on the alleged rampant smuggling of petroleum products involving deep sea fishing vessels and fuel tankers in the waters of Linapacan, Culion and other coastal waters of the province.
Board Member Roseller Pineda, who sponsored a resolution approved by the chamber on Tuesday, said the practice has remained unabated because of the absence of law enforcement to curtail the illegal trade activity.
Under the system, popularly called by locals as “paihi”, the illegal traders sell petroleum products to other sea-going vessels at a cheaper price compared to regular products by siphoning them from their hulls and fuel tanks.
“Maraming mga binebentang petroleum products, diesel at gasoline na hindi na doon nanggagaling sa legitimate na mga dealer kundi doon sa mga vessels,” Pineda said.
He claimed that the practice is common in the coastal waters of the West Philippine Sea and Sulu sea.
“It could also be considered as economic sabotage dahil alam natin na madaming mga legitimate na mga nagbebenta that are affected because of this kind of illegal activity,” he said.
Board Member David Francis Ponce de Leon also called on municipal officials to take action since the illegal trading have been occurring in their municipal waters.
The board resolution urged the Department of Trade and Industry, Philippine Coast Guard, Maritime PNP, Bureau of Internal Revenue, Bureau of Customs and the Bantay-Dagat-Palawan to take the necessary steps to stop the illegal practice.