The Sangguniang Panlalawigan approved on Tuesday a measure requiring municipalities to identify and develop safe harbors for fishing and other seafaring vessels facing risky conditions at sea during severe weather disturbances.
Board Member Marivic Roxas explained that these sheltered harbors will not only serve as hiding areas for fishermen from storms but will also be for them when they are challenged by mechanical breakdowns and loss of essential equipment.
“Nakita natin ang epekto ng bagyo noong nakaraan sa Mangsee sa municipality ng Balabac. Maraming kababayan natin ang naapektuhan ang kabuhayan, ‘yong mga bangka nila ay nasira kung hindi napadpad kung saan-saang lugar,” she said.
Roxas added the municipalities can be helped by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and other line agencies on this.
“If they collaborate with the BFAR, they can determine potential areas for the purpose, so that when there are storms, our fishermen will know where to anchor their boats,” she stated further.
During Tropical Storm Vinta’s onslaught on Mangsee Island, four fishing vessels and an estimated 30 motorized bancas were reported missing by the Palawan Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC).
“This is what we want to avoid from happening again. If there are safe harbors, our fishermen would know where to anchor for safety,” she said.
As of press time, the number of deaths due to Vinta was placed at 56 from 37.