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Mayor orders tight watch on Parañaque coastal areas

07/27/2008 [ tribune.net.ph ]

Parañaque City Mayor Florencio Bernabe has ordered a tight watch along the city’s coastal areas after receiving reports that aside from illegal fishing the shores were also being used by smugglers in bringing in imported items, including illegal drugs.

At a recent meeting of the Parañaque Peace and Order Council with officials of the Philippine Coast Guard, PNP Maritime Group and other law enforcement agencies attended by Presidential Assistant for Maritime Affairs Generoso Mamaril, Bernabe said he received reports that heavily armed men aboard speedboats have used the city’s shores in smuggling in contraband.

“We also received reports that illegal drugs such as shabu (hydrochloride methamphetamine) are stuffed inside the bellies of newly caught fish and brought into the country via our shores. We should be vigilant and stop these illegal activities,” Bernabe said, adding dynamite fishing has remained active in the area.

“We will not allow our marine resources to be destroyed by illegal methods of fishing. More so, we will not permit our coastal territories to become a breeding ground for criminal activities. We will take the necessary measures to eradicate lawless elements before they get a chance to establish themselves in Parañaque,” Bernabe stressed.

In a related development, Bernabe ordered the full implementation of City Ordinance 06-02 (104) which is now known as the comprehensive fishery ordinance of the City of Parañaque. This local legislation aims to protect the city’s river (Ilog Palanyag) and coastal waters from pollution and deleterious fishing methods like dynamite fishing; use of super fine nets, trawls and similar active fishing gears.

One of the salient provisions of the fishery code is the registration requirement for fishing boats of three tons and below gross weight to be allowed to operate within the city waters of Parañaque.

Tasked by Bernabe to implement the provisions of the ordinance are Special Services Officer Dean Calleja and City Agriculture Officer Fe Ferolino.

At recent meetings with fishermen and Barangay Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Council (BFARMC) and umbrella organization (CFARMC) officers and members, Calleja and Ferolino explained that fishing boat owners should endeavor to have their sea crafts registered with the city government for accreditation and security purposes.

The schedule of annual registration and license fees is as follows: 4-cylinder motorized fishing boat—P300; 16hp and above—P200; below 16hp—P100; non-motorized boat—P50; owners of bancas with only a 2-person capacity need not pay any license fee but are still required to register their water crafts. Ben Gines Jr.

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