PCG, DENR warn vs safras and baklad

Published October 27, 2021, 6:42 PM

by Waylon Galvez

Personnel of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) have conducted a joint operation with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) against illegal fishing activities off the waters of Cavite City.

During the operation on Oct. 25, at least 21 fish cages locally called “safras” and “baklad” were found and their owners were directed to dismantle them as both of them are considered floating hazards to marine environment.

PCG operatives take action against illegally structured fish cages and stationary fish traps in Cavite City. (PCG Facebook)

Coast Guard Spokesperson Armand Balilo said the operation is part of the operational procedure the PCG provides to the DENR as well as to the different Local Government Units or LGUs.

“That is the directive of the PCG, that in all situations we’ll provide help to the DENR. Be it in illegal transport of goods, or something like this illegal activity, we’re always in tandem with the DENR and with the LGU. That is part of our job and we’ll always help,” Balilo told Manila Bulletin.

Balilo said they will conduct a follow up inspection to check if the owners complied with their order. He warned that they will dismantle the ‘safras’ and ‘baklad’ if the owners fail to do it.

The partnership of the PCG and the DENR is under the Supreme Court ruling to 13 government agencies regarding the Writ of Mandamus in the prevention of Manila Bay Pollution and Republic Act No. 9993, otherwise known as the Coast Guard Law of 2009.

The HIgh Court ruling authorizes the two agencies to remove floating hazards to navigation, including illegal fish structures and vessels, at or close to sea lanes, which may cause hazards to the marine environment.