BACOLOD City Councilor Carlos Jose Lopez urged the Department of Agriculture (DA) to restore the patrol boats donated by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to be used for anti-illegal fishing operations and for the active operations of Bantay Dagat.
Lopez, chairperson of the city council committee on agriculture and agrarian concerns, said the patrol boat was obtained in 2012 from BFAR and was deployed under the City Agriculture Office and assigned to Bacolod’s Bantay Dagat.
“Bantay Dagat is a civilian fisheries patrol force made up of volunteers that try to keep a 24-hour watch on Philippine coastal waters up to 15 kilometers from shore,” he said.
He added the Bantay Dagat is a community-based law enforcement institution in the Philippines that engage fisher folk in coastal villages or barangay on a volunteer basis to support the detection and enforcement of illegal fishing in coastal waters.
Lopez said the restoration of the patrol boats shall be the means of monitoring the effectivity of anti-illegal fishing operations being made by the Bantay Dagat volunteers.
Meanwhile, Lopez also asked the Bacolod Traffic Authority Office (BTAO) to strictly enforce the traffic management and regulation ordinance to ease the flow of traffic in the city.
Lopez said it was reported that traffic congestions in the major roads of Bacolod are primarily caused by illegally parked vehicles.
He said BTAO should enforce City Ordinance No. 338, Series of 2002, or the Comprehensive Traffic Management and Regulation Ordinance, which regulates traffic, parking, towing and other transport or commuting-activities in the city.
“Areas covered for the road-clearing are being used for private gain, such as those public utility vehicles parked at illegal terminals, private vehicles, motorcycles and tricycles parked in the streets and sidewalks, carinderias and others,” the councilor said.
He added that the ordinance states that any motor vehicles that causes hindrance to the public access can be out rightly towed, as well as vehicles parked in private properties.
Lopez said BTAO personnel should be strict in the enforcement of such policy to ensure smooth flow of traffic in various areas. (MAP)