Led by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) CALABARZON and the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) of Cavite, the marking of the illegal fish cages, fish pens, baklads, sapras, and tahungan within Cavite City, Kawit and Noveleta, Cavite for demolition commenced on September 15, 2021.
Divided into three sub-teams, the marking team is composed of selected personnel from DENR CALABARZON Enforcement Division, Regional and Provincial Manila Bay Site Coordinating and Management Offices (MBSCMO), Municipal/City and Barangay Government Units, Philippine National Police (PNP), PNP-Maritime Group, and Philippine Coast Guard.
Per data given by the respective local government units prior to the actual marking, there are a total of 370 illegal aquaculture structures in Cavite waters: 271 in Cavite City, 97 in Kawit, and 2 in Noveleta. However, per actual marking conducted from September 15-17, 2021, 492 structures had been marked: 333 in Cavite City, and 159 total in Kawit and Noveleta. Also, a team member said they are not yet done with the marking.
One of the members of the marking team said there could possibly be errors in the marking considering that it was difficult to determine the borders of each structure due to the waterbody. Another member added that they have no baseline information to rely on as the said structures neither have permits nor record with the concerned local government units.
The marking team will resume their activities on September 20, 2021. The actual demolition, which was earlier scheduled on the said date, will be conducted soon after marking is completed.
DENR CALABARZON Regional Executive Director and MBSCMO-4 Regional Coordinator, Nilo B. Tamoria emphasized that the planned demolition of illegal aquaculture structures is for the sake of the marginalized fisherfolk. “Isang aspeto lamang po ito subalit mahalaga dahil sa dulo at dulo, ang makikinabang po nito ay ang mas nakakarami. Ang makikinabang po nito sa gagawin natin ay ang mga maliliit na mangingisda. Lalawak po ang kanilang pangisdaan. Maisasaayos po natin ang tamang pagsosona at paglalagay ng mga tamang pamamaraan ng pangingisda. At syempre po, aalisin natin ang hindi dapat nababagay”, he said.
Tamoria said the demolition is part of the Manila Bay Rehabilitation Program of the DENR. “‘Yun lang naman po ang ating intensyon, isaayos, bilang bahagi ng rehabilitasyon ng ating Manila Bay dahil 2008 pa tayo inutusan ng kataas-taasang hukuman ng ating bansa na ibalik ang kalidad ng tubig sa Manila Bay sa Class SB. Ang gagawin natin ngayon ay isa sa mga hakbang upang matulungan nating maibalik sa ganung kalidad”, he explained.
Early in July 2021, Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu ordered DENR CALABARZON to regulate illegal aquaculture structures in Manila Bay, in view of the huge amount of bamboo poles from fish pens, fish cages, and baklads/sapras, which were washed from Cavite waters into the shore of Manila Bay due to the recent southwest monsoon.###