Bantay Dagat in Puerto Princesa lobbies for higher penalty on fishermen using banned compressors

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Dec. 10 (PNA) - Bantay Dagat (Baywatch), this city’s marine environment watchdog, is lobbying for an increase in penalty against fishermen who will be using banned compressors in their fishing activities.

Councilor Luis Marcaida III, chairman of the Committee on Ordinances and Legal Matters in the Sangguniang Panlungsod, said Bantay Dagat Component Manager Ian Marcelo requested for them to amend the section of the ordinance that penalizes violators.

Marcaida said this can only be done if public consultation is done prior to the amendment.

This week, his committee conducted a public hearing on the matter in coastal villages in Puerto Princesa to inform fishermen that they are inclined to amend the penalty.

Marcaida explained that the reason for the proposed increase in penalty, which amount is yet to be determined, is the fact that the number of fishermen using the banned compressor has increased this year.

Another hearing is set to be conducted next week by the committee in a different coastal barangay in Puerto Princesa, he furthered, to fully resolve the proposed amendment.

The Bantay Dagat’s main function is “the protection and conservation of the city’s marine ecology by waging an all-out drive against illegal fishing and related activities in its four strategic bays, namely: Puerto Princesa Bay, Honda Bay, Turtle Bay and Ulugan Bay.” (PNA)