CAMP AGUINLDO, Quezon City – The frequent maritime patrols by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in the Batanes islands chain has already reaped success as fishermen recount respite in poaching, Colonel Edgard Arevalo, AFP Public Affairs Chief disclosed Wednesday, April 5.
“Governor Marilou Cayco of The Province of Batanes extended the gratitude of the fisherfolks of Batanes for the continuous maritime patrol being facilitated by the Philippine Air Force, Navy, and Marines in the northernmost islands and sea territory of the province,” Colonel Arevalo said.
Governor Cayco wrote a letter to Lieutenant General Romeo Tanalgo, Commander of Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM). She and her constituents expressed their gratefulness to the AFP for its prompt response to the needs of the province.
Governor Cayco disclosed that she was being flooded with positive feedbacks especially from the fishermen who are mostly benefiting from the maritime patrolling.
“The incessant problem of poaching in our waters took a respite after the patrol and according to our fisherfolks, they can now fish without being in persistent fear of encountering boats with foreign markings,” Governor Cayco wrote.
“Our scarce resource and means in protecting our own territory was obliterated by the AFP’s genuine concern to our people by keeping our people safe and free from threats of foreign poachers,” Governor Cayco continued.
In March 19, the Philippine Navy’s BRP Ramon Alcaraz (FF16) sailed to Mavulis Island, Itbayat, Batanes to conduct a site survey at the Northernmost Island of the country. The FF16 conducted naval cruise patrols to Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte, Dalupiri, Calayan and Casambalangan, Sta. Ana Cagayan. Since then, frequent maritime patrolling were facilitated by the military.
The AFP through NOLCOM started its maritime awareness activities in Mavulis Island in April 2016. This was done to support transforming the islets of Batanes into resting place and shelter area for Filipino fishermen.
“The positive developments in the islets of Batanes are borne not only of our frequent maritime patrols in the area but also of the active cooperation and coordination of the people of Batanes and other stakeholders. Together we shall continue to reap further successes as we in the AFP perform its mandate of protecting our people and our territory,” General Eduardo Año, AFP Chief of Staff said.