Sep 26, 2020

El Nido PCG denies reports of not allowing boats to fish

Lieutenant Junior Grade April Bernal, the town’s acting station commander, said Monday that those claims in social media were untrue and merely founded on speculations.

EL NIDO, Palawan — The Coast Guard Station (CGS) here has denied the claims posted in social media that they are prohibiting tourist boats to go on fishing trips amidst the COVID-19 crisis.

Lieutenant Junior Grade April Bernal, the town’s acting station commander, said Monday that those claims in social media were untrue and merely founded on speculations.

“Never kaming nanita sa ating mga fishermen na naglalaot o nangingisda kasi ako mismo naiintinidihan ko ang matinding pangangailangan ng mga tao na naapektuhan ng pandemya. Kahit pa man gamit nila ay pang-turistang bangka, hindi namin sila pinagbabawalan. Mali at hindi rin totoo ang mga lumabas sa social media na ‘yan,” Bernal told Palawan News in a phone interview.

Bernal also said she never had any directive or order from the municipal government relative to the matter as she herself requested for ‘pandemic consideration’ in these trying times.

“Ang binabantayan lang namin ay ‘yong illegal fishing bukod pa sa pagbabantay natin sa mga entry points ngayong nasa pagpapatupad tayo ng health standards,” Bernal explained.

“May mga locals tayo na ang tatay ay bangkero at ang anak naman ay tour guide tapos biglang nagka-COVID crisis, nawalan silang dalawa ng trabaho, nagpunta sa opisina humingi ng clearance upang makapangisda, binigyan natin kahit tourist boat gamit nila kasi naiintindihan natin ‘yan,” she added.

A local tour guide, who requested to be unnamed, affirmed CGS El Nido’s statement and said they have been using their tourist boat for fishing.

“Halos araw-araw nga kami naglalaot dyan, hindi naman kami sinisita nila. Marami nga kami dyan nagfi-fising ngayon kasi wala kami ibang mapagkitaan para sa pagkain namin. Baka, isyu lang din ‘yan wala magawa siguro,” said a local fishermen.

Due to difficult times of COVID-19, business and livelihood for local residents are heavily affected, hence, many if not all tourist boats were temporarily being used for fishing purposes.

 

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