Mayor Elizabeth Cervantes is calling on the national government to send additional personnel that will conduct regular patrols in the municipal waters of Busuanga where commercial fishing vessels from other provinces have been frequenting as evidenced by recent apprehensions.
Cervantes explained in a live briefing Tuesday that their town is vulnerable to unmonitored entry of fishing vessels because of the lack of key agencies and limited personnel needed to patrol and apprehend perpetrators.
“Sa kasalukuyan, wala kaming opisina ng BFAR (Bureau of Fishers and Aquatic Resources) sa Busuanga, wala ring Maritime [Police]. Ang aming kinakatulong para sa patrolling ay yong mga mangingisda at mga pulis kung saan ay kulang na kulang ang tao,” Cervantes explained.
“Actually ang area natin ay napakaraming entry point para sa mga neighboring provinces at sa kasalukuyang sitwasyon natin ay may mga pumapasok pa rin at nagsasamantala ng ating municipal waters. ‘Yon ang isa sa mga panawagan namin sa mga kinauukulang ahensya na kung maaari ay mabigyang-tulong kami para sa regular patrolling ng ating karagatan,” she added.
Cervantes added that they are also pushing for additional personnel of Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) station in the town.
“Napakalaki ng municipal waters ng Busuanga. Kaya kailangan pa nang marami pang tao para sa patrolling,” she added.
On Sunday, April 10, twelve fishermen from Cebu were apprehended by the Busuanga municipal police for fishing in the town’s municipal waters, which is illegal by virtue of the town’s Municipal Ordinance No. 260. They were then released after paying a fine.