PH plays key role in protecting seas–Paje

Environment Secretary Ramon Paje

Environment Secretary Ramon Paje

MANILA, Philippines—As an archipelagic country rich in fish and other marine life, the Philippines has a major role to play in protecting oceans and ensuring the sustainable use of underwater resources, Environment Secretary Ramon Paje said Friday.

The official represented the Philippines at the second Sustainable Ocean Summit (SOS) in Washington, DC, on April 22-24, which sought to strengthen cooperation and collaboration among countries in safeguarding the future of marine environments.

“The Philippines, especially, is a major player in the sustainability of coastal and marine resources, being an archipelagic country with 240 million hectares of water, and being at the center of the world’s marine biodiversity,” Paje said in a news release.

The environment chief noted that the country is considered one of the world’s top producers of fish and aquaculture, accounting for 43 percent of marine aquarium fish and 36 percent of marine invertebrates traded globally.

Organized by the World Ocean Council, the SOS is an international conference attended by policymakers and executives from different parts of the world.

First held in Belfast, Ireland, in 2010, it brought together a wide range of industries involved in the use of marine space and resources.

Paje said the country’s participation in the summit was significant in light of preparations undertaken by the government as it hosts the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) meeting in 2015.

The Office of the President has tasked the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to host the Ministerial Meeting on Oceans or the Blue Environment, a side summit at the Apec.

The Philippines, he noted, is involved in several key collaborations with Southeast Asian neighbors for ocean conservation, including the Sulu-Sulawesi Marine Ecoregion Conservation Program with Indonesia and Malaysia.

It is among six countries in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific found in the so-called Coral Triangle, which covers 5.7 million hectares of ocean waters and contains 75 percent of the world’s coral species.

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • Crazy_horse101010

    wonder if someone has told him that 70 percent of the reefs are destroyed and another 20 percent is damaged. as for fishing in this fishing village i live in there is no more fish they had to build a market and import fish from another island fish is more expensive here than in the city. the main topic of conversation is where did all the fish go. its easy to see when there is blasting going on and they use nets that catch fish the size of a fingernail.. .

    • Billy Reyes

      That’s the whole reason why the headline says “PHILIPPINES PLAYS KEY ROLE IN PROTECTING THE SEAS”
      To let the world know our problems in protecting our seas, that’s why we are part of the summit.

      • kanoy



        RP has destroyed 70% of all its coral reefs…of the 30% remaining only 5% can be called ”good” this is the EXAMPLE we set for the world as we continue our daily destruction

        PH plays key role in protecting seas–Paje
        By Philip C. Tubeza May 25th, 2011
        MANILA, Philippines—The crime was described as “the rape of the ocean.”
        Poachers decimated an entire “reef complex”—almost twice as big as Manila—off the coast of Cotabato province when they harvested more than 21,000 pieces of black coral and killed 161 endangered turtles and other marine life, officials said Tuesday.
        One of the turtles killed was a male aged 80 to 100 years old.
        Bureau of Customs officials intercepted the contraband two weeks ago and recovered 134 bundles, or 21,169 pieces, of “sea fan” black corals and 15 bundles, or 196 kilograms, of “sea whip” black corals.
        “The Moro Gulf and the Sulu Sea off Cotabato are supposed to be unexplored reef areas but with this collection, we can see that they have also been disturbed,” said Ludivina Labe, a senior marine biologist of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).
        “It’s like a forest that has been cut down,” Labe said. “One reef complex was decimated.”

        The Fisheries Code of 1998, which bans gathering and selling corals, punishes violators with imprisonment from six months to two years and a fine from P2,000 to P20,000.
        poor policing and inadequate deterrence.
        HEY PAJE
        beef up the coast guard and navy, set more sea patrols.
        and impose heavy penalties for crimes against the environment.
        Ten percent of the world’s reefs have been completely destroyed. In the Philippines, where coral reef destruction is the worst, over 70% have been destroyed and only 5% can be said to be in good condition.

      • AlexanderAmproz

        No need to run after poacher’s.
        Shopping will do the tricks.

        I don’t know black corals disappearances impact on the reef,
        but Triton shell disappearances is almost as bad as dynamite fishing.

        Triton shells are the only one eating corals worst enemy,
        the poisonous prosperous Star Crown fish eating all corals,

        A plain criminal disaster !

        They can be found not only in almost every beach resorts,
        but also in the shopping Malls,
        even seen them in Gaisano Country Mall few years ago.
        It’s a best ban seller since so long,
        surprisingly still some corals left around.

        5% of the reef is in good condition ?

        How come such a nice news ?

        Yesterday it was an unproven, maybe a lucky 2% !
        The erratic Philippines seas life is just good enough
        to support the fake DOT ads to lure tourists about scuba diving !

        Its remember me Pablo Garcia, the Trapos Patriarch Master,
        laughing jokingly about shark’s disappearances in an environment seminar held in Cebu.

        No need to laugh any more, no more Shark’s in the Bohol seas
        who was probably the World best seas, the former mother of the seas.

        Pablo personal assets will balance for his own family
        the seas definitive Dantesque destructions and pollutions,
        why to worry ?

        Poor Pinoy’s, they didn’t deserved such a pathetic tragedy initiated by Magellan, thanks a Medieval Clergy lies and abuses entertaining a Feudal power still today running and owning the Country,
        the end of this sad story is for the near Future, lucky OFW

        Sikatuna should have slaughter Miguel Lopez de Legaspi,
        instead to have sold is constituents for one or two kilos of glass beads

      • Crazy_horse101010

        it is the bohol sea area that i am talking about where fishing is being destroyed . 5 years ago at night it looked like a city with all the lights now there is only 2 or 3. there used to 6 or more big bancas unloading fish here but no more. they are gone. as for sharks i have heard of one sighting in 7 years and never seen one. i have seen a few turtles and i have bought them to keep the fisherman from eating them.i then release them back.yesterday islans of garbage floated by my house some a hundred meters across. it was plastic bags and bottles and i live 70 kilometers from the city.

      • AlexanderAmproz

        Jagna ?
        Inabanga ?
        30 years ago Bohol looks untouched, it was a forgotten sleeping Paradise, so exclusive, Scuba Diving, a dream, abundant delicious Anda lobsters, but have to say, almost every beaches sand was under hauling and sold to Manila for garden landscaping.

        Destructions were on the way, but disaster could be still avoided, Abatan and Loboc River a dream, gone for the “happy few” quick money, like the rest of the Country.

        SO, so sad to see what was done the last twenty years, on any aspects, untouched Historical Churches aren’t any more a shadow of what it was, same with the corals and any nice places, as soon as “discovered”, destroyed !

        Peoples aren’t the same, Shabu, Snatcher, Prostitution, Junk food, and abuses became the rule. The charm is gone, a slum ambiance on the way.

        I met some peoples enjoying this Island more than Bali and any other places around the World, chose it as a new vacation destination.

        In 1994 they swear, “Never come back !”

        Today Bohol is OK for junk’s or cheap Charlie tourists, but not for very long at the existing destruction cruise speed.

        Stupidity hidden by arrogances, no limits to the sky !

        What a pity to be run by such kind of ignorant greedy corrupt Trapos !

  • Guest

    Sakaling maupo si Jamby muli sa Senado nais niyang maghain ng panukalang magbibigay proteksyon sa kalikasan.

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


editors' picks




latest videos