BFAR joins exercises in WPS to ensure protection of Filipino fishermen

Marje Pelayo   •   April 26, 2021   •   608

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) is one with other government agencies in condemning illegal activities in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

According to BFAR National Director Eduardo Gongona, the agency supports the efforts of the national government in relation to the disputed waters; thus, they participate in joint exercises within the area.

“Patuloy nating sinusulong ang ating kasarinlan sa ating WPS at kinokendena natin lahat ng iligal na pangingisda doon,” he said.

The official noted that the estimated fish production in WPS last year was 324,312 metric tons which contributed to the country’s overall production of the fisheries sector by 7.36%.

Gongona said it is important that the country protects its rights over the area.

“Ang significant effort ng BFAR, pati ang ibang ahensya na kasama po roon, ay para pangalagaan ang mga fishermen doon, fishing vessels, environment, at to prevent illegal unreported, unregulated fishing, and [violation of] fishery laws,” he noted.

He reported that BFAR joined the recent maritime exercises in the WPS where it sent a total of five vessels.

“Recently, nag-conduct po sila ng exercises doon kasama ang BFAR monitoring, control, surveillance vessels po namin. Five po sila doon, and okay naman po ang report sa amin ng [Philippine Coast Guard],” he assured.

Warning signals lifted as Tropical Storm Jolina moves towards the West Philippine Sea

Marje Pelayo   •   September 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has lifted all wind signals across the country as Tropical Storm Jolina moves towards the West Philippine Sea.

As of 11:00 a.m. Thursday (September 9), the center of TS Jolina was estimated at 240 km West of Dagupan City, Pangasinan, packed with maximum sustained winds of 85 km/h and gustiness of up to 115 km/h.

It is moving westward at 10 km/h.

PAGASA forecasts that in the next 24 hours, light to moderate with at times heavy rains may be experienced over Palawan, Western Visayas, and Zamboanga Peninsula.

Under these conditions, isolated to widely scattered flooding and rain-induced landslides are still possible especially in areas that are highly or very highly susceptible to these hazards.

Meanwhile, moderate to strong winds associated with the enhanced southwest monsoon will be experienced over the western section of Luzon.

Based on PAGASA’s forecast track, ‘Jolina’ will move generally west northwestward today over the West Philippine Sea and exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) tonight.

However, the tropical storm is seen to re-intensify and may reach a severe tropical storm category within the day, PAGASA said.

Furthermore, the storm may reach typhoon category tomorrow (September 10).

DND refutes reports on Chinese research vessel near Zambales

Robie de Guzman   •   August 13, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of National Defense (DND) on Friday refuted earlier reports that a Chinese vessel has been spotted near the disputed Scarborough Shoal (also called Bajo de Masinloc) in the West Philippine Sea.

In a statement, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the alleged Chinese research ship did not pass through nor enter the country’s area of responsibility.

“Contrary to some published reports regarding the Chinese Research Vessel Hai Da Hao, the AFP Northern Luzon Command has reported that the said vessel has not been spotted near Bajo de Masinloc as alleged,” he said.

“Based on the verification of the one-year historical track of CRV Hai Da Hao, the vessel did not pass through nor did it enter the area of responsibility of Naval Forces Northern Luzon,” he added.

Lorenzana noted that the said ship is currently monitored at 30 nautical miles south of Huidong Xian, Huizhou Shi in China.

The DND chief issued the statement following claims on social media about the alleged presence of a Chinese research ship near the shoal in Zambales.

The report prompted the department to conduct verification on the matter.

Chinese and other foreign vessels have previously been spotted in contested areas in the West Philippine Sea.

The Philippine government has repeatedly filed diplomatic protests on the presence of Chinese ships in Philippine waters.

DND verifying report on alleged presence of a Chinese ship off Zambales

Robie de Guzman   •   August 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of National Defense (DND) on Thursday said it is verifying reports on the alleged presence of a Chinese research ship that was spotted near Panatag Shoal in the West Philippine Sea.

In a statement, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said facts gathered by the maritime patrols in the area will be basis of their next course of action.

“Rest assured that the AFP, through the Northern Luzon Command, undertakes regular domain awareness operations and provides all the necessary support to the Philippine Coast Guard and other agencies to secure and implement our laws in our territorial waters and the EEZ,” he said.

Chinese and other foreign vessels have previously been spotted in contested areas in the West Philippine Sea.

The Philippine government has repeatedly filed diplomatic protests on the presence of Chinese ships in Philippine waters.

 

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