TO EFFECTIVELY guard marine protected areas in the city, the Davao City Agriculturist Office (CAO) on Monday, May 7, turned over a total of 34 units of hand held radio for the Fishery Law Enforcement Team or Bantay Dagat assigned in 24 coastal barangays within the city.
Davao City Administrator Zuleika Lopez, together with CAO head Leo Brian Leuterio during the opening of the Farmer’s and Fisherfolks yesterday morning, led the ceremonial turn-over of the handheld radio to the different cluster heads of the Federation of Fisherfolks’ Association of Davao City.
The handheld radio devices will be used by 144 active Fishery Law Enforcement Team or Bantay Dagat personnel from the coastal barangays who are assigned to guard the nine marine protected areas in the city.
Leuterio said the units will be under CAO wherein the devices’ base is installed in its office.
However, the radio itself will be used by the Bantay Dagat personnel under the guidance of marine cluster personnel who are assigned to handle the regulatory functions, said CAO-Fishery Resource Management Service Division head Mary Moratin.
Meanwhile, Davao City has now an established marine federation, Federation of Fisherfolks’ Association of Davao City, composed of six clusters with 58 marine associations.
Leuterio said the device has an estimated cost of P15,000 per unit exclusive of the price for the permits to be issued by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC). It also has an allocated budget for the training on how to use the devices. All in all, it has an estimated cost of more than P500,000.
“They [Bantay Dagat personnel] need communication every time they go on board, it is for their safety and for us to know their whereabouts,” Leuterio added.
He also added that the devices will be distributed to the respective barangay once they have conducted the training.
Moratin, however, said the devices are only being lend by the city government to the barangays and not given, as mandated by the Commission on Audit (COA). (Brisbane Q. Titular, Father Saturnino Urios University Intern)