BFAR boosts capabilities of fishery law enforcers to protect PHL marine resources

April 14, 2015 3:51 am 

By Lilybeth G. Ison

PAGBILAO, Quezon, April 13 (PNA) — To further strengthen the country’s fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) of the Department of Agriculture (DA) has been conducting training course designed to equip fishery law enforcers with necessary mental skills and inculcate in them the values of discipline, commitment to service and strict observance of the chain of command.

DA Undersecretary and BFAR Director Asis G. Perez, during the graduation of the second batch of fishery law enforcers on Sunday, said this was the first time that the government conducted special training course for fishery law enforcers.

He said this is to improve security and protect the marine and aquatic resources of the country's 36,000 kilometers coastlines.

Perez said the graduates — 62 for first batch and 51 for the second batch — were assured of jobs at BFAR with salary equivalent to salary grade 18 plus benefits.

He said they were targeting to train at least 700 fishery law enforcers, which would be assigned to strategic areas such as in Lamon Bay, Bohol Bay, Zamboanga Bay, including the controversial Ayungin, Scarborough and Kalayaan Shoals at the West Philippine Sea, among others.

Perez said the training "was meant to capacitate our personnel with enough knowledge and skills that will allow them to ensure proper management and protection of the country’s fisheries and aquatic resources."

An effective fishery law enforcer will contribute greatly to the progress of the local fishing industry and the people whose livelihood depends on it.

The BFAR chief said the training was divided into two parts — the 30-day transition period in which participants were indoctrinated on discipline, conduct and values, basic tactical training, and strenuous physical training; and the 60-day training on BFAR operations and protocols, fishery laws and aquatic protection, shipboard operations and practicum, advance tactical training, water search and rescue, field training exercises and physical development program.

"These trainees were indoctrinated with 50 percent sound mind, 40 percent good physical condition, and 10 percent love for their country," he said.

Also part of the BFAR’s law enforcement capacity-strengthening is the procurement of 27 units of 40-footer Monitoring, Control and Surveillance vessels; 70 units of 30-footer multi-mission vessels; and two units 50-meter vessel equipped with necessary special operations tools and devices such as service fire arms, the Global Positioning System, night vision goggles, scuba gears and, rigid-hulled inflatable rubber boats.

The training was held at the National Brackishwater Fisheries Technology Center here. (PNA)

RMA/LGI

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