We express with deep gratitude that we received a call from Zamboanguita Police Chief Picardal that you have instructed him to deploy two more police officers for the current fish wardens who now support the efforts of the Zamboanguita Bantay Dagat Team in monitoring illegal fishing activities in Lutoban, and to have our Marine Protected Area be included in your regular daily patrol, it being just close to your municipality.
We who work as volunteers for our municipality’s fishery rehabilitation are truly grateful it is your leadership’s contention that the more engaged our surrounding communities are in helping government gatekeepers, the more cooperative they would be in finding innovative solutions and fight corruption that can eradicate age-old abuses and documented tyranny in our area.
Fueled by that conviction for pro-sustainable development programs and democratic policies to work and be enforced in helping halt the degradation of our economically-valuable marine resource in our beloved towns, your extended hand to our weary efforts and morale is such a timely relief.
Because of your Christianly strength in proper environmental governance, we cannot be crushed by the self-interest of the majority who fish illegally and oppose and abuse the MPAs we have been working hard to promote for many years as a response to the government’s program of establishing at least 30 percent of each municipality’s coastline as marine reserves.
Thank you that you have listened to the appeal of Dr. Angel Alcala to reach out to us, and we do know that your political principles are driven by higher truths and ideals. Your leadership is so valuable to us and our future. Dr. Alcala, in fact, mentioned that he will write Interior Sec. Jesse Robredo of your full support to us, and that in return, he will see to it that your municipality will continue to have full support for your Coastal Resource Management efforts. God bless you, and more power.
Dive Hub Marine Protected Area Team
(Gena Dayon, Martin Jordan, Karla Gregorio, Michael Jandog, Arnold & Marilyn Alapap, Rodel Gajellomo, John Rey Enrera, Marites Zapanta, Ellen Jandog)
Siaton, Negros Oriental