By Jonas Reyes
IBA, Zambales — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM) held a Fishermen’s Dialogue and Consultative Forum in the capitol of Zambales on Thursday.
According to NOLCOM Commander Lt. Gen. Emmanuel Salamat, the forum served as an interagency and collaboration dialogue. He added that the event was be a venue for consultation of the fisherfolks about issues concerning their livelihood, safety of life at sea and security.
“The forum aims to promote Safety of Life at Sea, raise awareness among our countrymen, and promote sovereignty over our maritime areas in Northern Luzon,” Salamat told The Manila Bulletin.
“Likewise, this activity is aimed at engaging local fisherfolks in order to bring to the concerned government agencies for appropriate actions,” Salamat added.
Aside from the fisherfolks and the AFP, the forum was participated by the concerned local government units (LGUs), the provincial government of Zambales, other local government agencies, and stakeholders.
The forum was held after reports that Chinese coast guards allegedly harassed Filipino fishermen in Scarborough Shoal. The reports also state that these foreign nationals “confiscated” the fishermen’s catch after boarding their vessels in the vicinity of the area.