By Raymund Antonio
Vice President Leni Robredo met with officials of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and other concerned agencies to address the widespread illegal fishing in the waters off Calabanga, Camarines Sur.
Robredo’s recent meeting with the agencies was in response to the complaint of fishermen in her home province that illegal fishing has affected the livelihood of communities.
“The complaints of illegal fishing that have reached us are very persistent,” Robredo said in a short video she posted on her official Facebook page after their meeting.
The vice president said she received complaints about the illegal fishing practices, especially those used by big commercial fishing vessels, which have resulted to the “dwindling supply” of fish.
Robredo noted fisherfolk from seven municipalities have been affected by illegal fishing activities in San Miguel Bay.
She had a meeting with BFAR and representatives from Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Philippine National Police (PNP), and Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).
Joining them were members of the Fisherfolk Association of San Miguel Bay and officials of various local government units (LGUs).
According to Robredo, she called for a meeting to draw up possible solutions regarding the matter. Among those discussed were the “best practices” to prevent illegal fishing activities.
“We discussed how we can help everyone in law enforcement… Under the law, it is the obligation of the LGU to enforce, but most of them have no capacity to do that,” the former Camarines Sur representative said.
“The agencies themselves said they are willing to enforce it and help the LGUs as long as they are given the authority,” she added.