DFA Secretary: Presence of ships alone doesn’t mean anything

UNTV News   •   August 17, 2017   •   3746

IMAGE_UNTV_NEWS_081617_DFA SEC CAYETANO

MANILA, Philippines — Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano on Wednesday afternoon said there is no need for the Philippine government to be alarmed on the alleged presence of Chinese vessels near the Pag-asa Island.

Former marine officer now Magdalo Party List Representative Gary Alejano , said he received the information from his contacts in the military that the swarm is composed of two frigates, a coastguard vessel, two large fishing vessels, and numerous maritime militias.

The ships have been there since Saturday, August 12.

“Our BFAR ship was prevented by Chinese fishing vessels from going near our sand bars located generally west of Pag-asa Island around 2 to 7 nautical miles away,” said Alejano.

Cayetano, however, neither confirmed nor denied the claim of Alejano saying they are in constant communication with the Chinese counterpart.

He also assured that the situation in the area where the Chinese vessels had been deployed is stable.

“The presence of ships alone does not mean anything.  I mean, for example, let me ask Cong. Alejano why were we not concerned about the U.S. doing freedom of navigation?  Ang lalaki ng ships nila (Their ships were huge),” DFA Sec Alan Peter Cayetano said.

The Secretary assured that the government has not reneged on its mandate to defend the country.

“The situation in West Philippine Sea and South China Sea is very serious we will not give single inch, single square meter, single centimeter. But at the same time it should not define our whole relationship with our neighbor,” Sec. Cayetano added. – Grace Casin | UNTV News and Rescue

Tons of mackerel tuna swim ashore in Romblon

Marje Pelayo   •   January 17, 2020

ROMBLON, Philippines – Tons of mackerel tuna (tulingan) surfaced along the coastline of Barangay Sawang in the town of Romblon on Friday (January 17), prompting cheers of excitement from residents.

According to the uploader of the viral video, they have been observing hundreds of fish swimming near the shoreline since Thursday.

It was not the first time that such a phenomenon happened in the area, though the most recent was many years ago, one resident said.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), meanwhile, said they are still verifying the cause of the incident though the agency explained that fish usually appear near the beach if they find something to feed on.

DA estimates Typhoon Tisoy damage, losses

Maris Federez   •   December 9, 2019

Fishermen secure boats in anticipation rain and strong winds brought by Typhoon Kammuri, in Cavite City, Philippines, 03 December 2019. EPA-EFE/FRANCIS R. MALASIG

MANILA, Philippines— The Department of Agriculture on Monday (December 9) released the estimated damage and losses brought by Typhoon “Tisoy”.

The department announced that Tisoy caused damage and losses to around Php 3.70B.

In a statement released on Monday, the DA said: “the volume of production loss on rice, corn, high-value crops, livestock, and fisheries amounted to 195,046 metric tons, affecting 132,166 hectares and 92,701 farmers and fisherfolks.”

It explained that the increase from the initial estimate of Php 1.93B happened when updated and additional reports from Central Luzon, CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, Bicol Region, Western Visayas, Ilocos Region, and Eastern Visayas arrived.

The DA added that, “The damage and losses are only equivalent to 1% of the estimated total rice production by the end of 2019.”

Based on the DA’s monthly projection, losses in rice production is only 9% of the projected production for December. The estimated loss in corn production, meanwhile, was only 1.56%.

The Department said it has an available Php 250 million from the Quick Response Fund (QRF) for rehabilitation.

“The Agricultural Credit and Policy Council (ACPC) allocated PhP 65 million under the Survival Recovery (SURE) Program for assistance. The Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) will fast-track the release of indemnity to farmers and fisherfolk hit by the typhoon,” the statement added.

It further said that they have prepared a total of 93,711 bags of rice seeds, 17,999 bags of corn seeds, 1,979 kgs of high-value crops seed reserves ready for distribution to affected farmers who are ready to replant.

Moreover, 7,500 coconut seedlings from the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) and 151,142 bags of RCEF seeds for eligible RCEF beneficiaries from the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) are also ready for distribution in Region 5.

Affected fisherfolks in the region will also receive relief goods, tilapia fingerlings, and fishing paraphernalia (gill nets, bottom set long line, 30ft fiberglass boat engine) from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Region 5 (BFAR-5).

The DA also said that the concerned RFOs are still conducting field validation to give more accurate reports regarding the impact of Typhoon Tisoy. —mbmf

BFAR: Red tide alert raised in Puerto Princesa, other areas

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 17, 2019

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has raised a “red tide” warning in several parts of the country due to reported paralytic shellfish poisoning.

Based on the laboratory results of BFAR, shellfishes collected from the following areas are positive of paralytic shellfish poison:

  1. Puerto Princesa Bay, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan
  2. Coastal Waters of Dauis and Tagbilaran City, Bohol
  3. Irong-Irong, San Pedro and Silanga Bays in Western Samar
  4. Cancabato Bay, Tacloban City, Leyte

According to BFAR all types of shellfish gathered in the said areas are not safe to eat.

However, other seafoods like fish, squid, shrimp, and crab are safe for consumption provided they are fresh and were thoroughly cleaned before cooking.—AAC

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