PCG monitors presence of more Filipino fishermen in West PH Sea

Published May 19, 2022, 2:00 PM

by Aaron Recuenco 

More Filipino fishermen have been going to the Pagasa Island in the past few days amid the heavy presence of Chinese authorities patrolling in the area.

In a statement, the Philippine Coast Guard said its personnel spotted around 25 Filipino fishing boats conducting fishing activities on the island’s vicinity waters from May 12 to May 14.

PCG Commandant Admiral Artemio Abu said he had already tasked Coast Guard personnel patrolling in the West Philippine Sea to assist the fishermen and check their condition.

Abu said his men also provided relief supplies and COVID-19 kits to support their fishing operations.

“The significant increase of Filipino fishermen in the West Philippine Sea proves that the PCG’s intensified presence boosts their confidence and makes them feel safe and protected while fishing in these areas’ waters,” said Abu.

“Through our continuous modernization, we ensure that our kababayans can freely explore our marine resources while protecting our marine environment for the future generations,” he added.

The PCG has been procuring vessels for maritime patrols, the recent was a 97-meter multi-role vessel from Japan, the BRP Teresa Magbanua. The same type of vessel is expected to arrive in coming weeks and will be named BRP Melchora Aquino.

National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea (NTF-WPS) Chairman and National Security Adviser, Secretary Hermogenes Esperon has underscored the need to encourage Filipino fishermen to continue their fishing ventures in the WPS.

He also noted that constructing a fuel depot and ice storage plant on Pag-asa island is the national government’s effort to assist Filipino fishermen in the area.