|Phil. Navy Fast Craft Patrol at Brooke's Point wharf|
|2 Navy Patrol boats helps against illegal fishing|
Brooke's Point once a haven for fishermen, with its many coral reefs, fish were really abundant then!
But lately, local fisherfolks have to go to nearby municipality, Bataraza, and up to Balabac group of islands to catch fish, sometimes, reaching as far as boundary of Philippine waters and Malaysia to catch fish, pity on them!
The culprit for all of these?
Dynamite fishing (killing fish of all sizes, thus depriving small fish to grow) Cyanide fishing (resulting to massive coral reef destruction!), fishing on prohibited areas (below the 10.1 Nautical miles from shoreline) for troll fishing, hulbot & likom way of fishing. Thus, resulting to diminishing volume of fish here. This is not the time for "pointing fingers" for whom to blame but rather "what to do" to enforce what is mandated by law, "kahit sino pa ang masagasaan"(no matter whom will be affected) to bring back the good old days that Brooke's Point once a fishing haven!
With these reason, the Local Chief Executive, Mayor Narciso "Boyet" Leoncio must act to save our marine life!
In the past two (2) weeks, LGU-Brooke's Point showed in its seriousness in dealing against illegal fishermen in this town. It caused an uproar among the fisher folks considering that fishing is the only livelihood they knew... one said that: "para niyo na ring pinatay ang pamilya namin!"
Apprehensions and several illegal fishing equipments were seized by the local police, like the compressor machine. Since at the moment, LGU have no speed boats to guard and protect the shoreline and its municipal waters, Mayor Boyet Leoncio tapped the services of Philippine Navy's Fast Craft (Patrol Boat) to assist the Bantay Dagat-Brooke's Point to go after those illegal fishermen! Its fortunate that the Commander of Phil. Navy here is so much cooperative and expressed their willingness to help the Local Chief Executive in its drive against illegal activities.During a short conversation with him, he told me that he salute Mayor Boyet for his strong "political will" to implement what is right and punish for those doing otherwise!
The result? Chaos for the fishermen's respective families! They only live on day-to-day basis.
An immediated dialogue between fisherfolks of 18 Barangays ang Mayor Boyet must be done which Mayor himself set an appointment with them last Friday afternoon, August 13th (jinx #?) to settle the issue.
|BFAR Chief, Maritime OIC, Coastguard OIC & Chief of Police|
The guests: Chief of Police, Officer-in-Charge Coastguard, Maritime Police Chief and Bureau of Fisheries & Aquatic Resources (BFAR) OIC.
In opening his message, Mayor Boyet Leoncio told almost a hundred fishermen (others represented by their wife) that he is not going aginst them but he is after the protection of the marine life, in which, at the end, the fishermen themselves are the beneficiaries.He was saddened to know that they are going in far places just to catch, leaving them to cough more for additional diesel fuel, well in fact can be avoided by abiding to existing laws & regulations.
The fishermen beg not to implement the law at the moment, (most of them cite their children's tuition needs being examination time next week) but rather be allowed fishing below 10.1 nautical miles prohibited area a period of time or look for other livelihood. This drew reactions from authorities present in their favor, a great consideration indeed!
|Open forum time|
|Mayor Boyet listens intently to a wife of a fisherman|
|Chief of Police Ronnie Osia sharing his view|
The fishermen are given 5 months to comply and secure proper papers/documents like Mayor's Permit (in 2009 there are 120+ fishermen secured their Mayor's Permit compared to only 12 this 2010!), as agreed upon, all duly accredited fishermen of Brooke's Point will be issued individual Identification Cards (ID) and mus bring it with them to avoid apprehension by the local police (PNP/Maritime/Coastguard/BFAR) , in this way, outsiders fishermen can be identified and warned not to fish in prohibited areas. All these things were accepted by the fishermen with great delight!
|Hadji Pisingan Isnain sharing his thoughts|
A Mayoralty candidate himself, ran against Dr.Boyet Leoncio then, Hadji Pisingan Isnain, showing a true gentleman, said that politics is finished, the people had spoken, we already have a new Mayor and in order this new administration succeed, not only himself, but all of us must get involved. He emphasized the proper way of fishing and he knew very well and understand the plight of fishermen because he had been once.
|Hadji Pisinga Isnain addressing to fishermen|
|Mayor Boyet, Hji. Pisingan, Ton Abengoza & Danny Chan|
|Hadji Pisingan, Ton Abengoza (Author) & Danny Chan (Ex-vice-Mayor)|
|Hadji Pisingan & Danny Chan|
To end, Mayor Boyet Leoncio, asked favor from the fishermen to help him also to implement the law and in order to achieve this, they (fishermen) must police themselves, report any illegal activities being done by their colleagues or outsiders, "para naman hindi madamay ang walang kasalanan", which answered by a loud promise: "Opo, Mayor" (yes we will, Mayor).
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