STUDENTS of the University Iloilo’s College of Law have expressed full support to Governor Arthur Defensor’s advocacy to protect and conserve the Visayan Sea.
In Solidum Student Council officials, namely, president Jane Sudario, vice president Joseph Allen Españo, and secretary Sherwin Galupar, visited the Governor at his office on Monday. March 12, and presented him a copy of the Manifesto of Support and Offer to Help that they have initiated.
They furnished copies of the manifesto to Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources BFAR-Western Visayas director Remia Aparri, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) OIC Secretary Eduardo Año, DILG-Western Visayas regional director Anthony Nuyda, BFAR National Director Eduardo Gongona, Senator Cynthia Villar, and Department of Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol.
“We, the undersigned Millenials, representing our generation and generations yet unborn, joined by our Elders, express our whole-hearted support to the good Provincial Government of Iloilo in its effort to protect the Visayan Sea,” reads the manifesto.
The Visayan Sea, surrounded by the provinces of Iloilo, Masbate, Cebu and Negros Occidental, is said to be very rich in marine and aquatic resources.
“We call on all our national and local leaders to support and intensify the anti-illegal fishing campaign that is destroying the unparalleled natural heritage of Philippine marine life,” it added.
The group also offered to help the campaign against illegal fishing “in whatever manner that may be appropriate to our capabilities.”
In an interview with the Iloilo Provincial Capitol Press Corps, Sudario said they have made the manifesto after hearing from environmental lawyer Tony Oposa in a symposium last week the importance of protecting the Visayan Sea which is considered as the remaining center of biodiversity in the world.
She added, they were also inspired by Defensor’s passion towards Visayan Sea protection through intensified campaign against illegal fishing and implementation of successful coastal resource management programs.
Defensor warmly welcomed the students’ manifesto as he thanked them for joining him in the advocacy for the protection of the Visayan Sea.
The governor’s unabated anti-illegal fishing campaign since 2010 had received accolades and commendations from various groups both locally and internationally.
Countless illegal fishers have been apprehended particularly in Northern Iloilo since the campaign started.
The intensified anti-illegal fishing drive resulted to an increased catch by the local fisherfolk especially in the island-barangays. (PR)