Pag-asa island municipal workers want to go out to stop Chinese
MANILA, Philippines—Employees of the municipal government on Pag-asa reported on Friday that Chinese fishermen continued collecting corals from the edge of islands on the fringe of reefs 3 kilometers from Pag-asa.
“We counted at least five large fishing boats from the eastern side of the island,” said Ronnie Cojambo, a municipal employee, told the Inquirer by text message. “At least two were new and just arrived.”
Kalayaan Mayor Eugenio Bito-onon said the municipal staff on the island had wanted to go out to stop the Chinese but he had prevailed on them not do anything, as the matter was for the DFA to deal with.
Bito-onon said he also ordered the Kalayaan sea patrol to refrain from accosting to the Chinese fishermen.
“We will just let the DFA handle this matter,” he said.
A marine conservation expert said on Friday the coral mining by the Chinese off Pag-asa would have a serious impact on important marine ecosystems around the Coral Triangle.
Romeo Trono, former head of Conservation International Philippines and the turtle conservation program of the government, urged countries bound by the international agreements to protect the Coral Triangle to help ask China to stop its fishermen from mining corals in the West Philippine Sea.
Rex Robles, a retired Navy officer, said the government should ask the United Nations not for a peacekeeping force but for a maritime patrol to protect the Philippine environment from Chinese destruction.
“The corals have been there for years, and now they’re destroying them in an hour or two,” Robles said.
“There should be patrols in the whole area there, which should be declared a sanctuary and supervised accordingly,” he said. TJ Burgonio in Manila and Redempto Anda, Inquirer Southern Luzon
Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these chat apps:
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94