Bravo Filipino|Coast Guard lauded for ensuring health and livelihood of small fishers during the enhanced community quarantine period|In compliance with the declaration of President Rodrigo Duterte to put the entire of Luzon under enhanced community quarantine amid COVID-19 threat, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) issued guidelines on sailing policy for fishers, thereby assisting artisanal and commercial fish workers to continue to conduct legal fishing operations in areas under community quarantine.
The earlier advisory informing the public of the No Sail Policy was clarified to apply to passenger vessels only. Fishing operations continue under stringent health protocols and safety guidelines to be conducted by the PCG, Philippine National Police – Maritime Group, and the Philippine Navy.
The operatives of these enforcement agencies will board the fishing vessels and conduct thermal check-up. Small-scale fishers who are not feeling well will be advised to seek medical assistance and go home. Fishing boat captains are instructed to refuse, isolate, and/or restrict to cabin any fish worker who exhibits flu-like symptoms and/or report to the PCG or return to port upon discovery of a sick crew.
“By clarifying the process and mechanisms during the period of the enhanced community quarantine, the Philippine Coast Guard helps our fishers earn income amidst the government’s efforts to contain the spread of the dreaded novel coronavirus. This is very important, especially for our poor artisanal fishers and fishworkers who need their daily income to ensure their families have food on the table and will have money to buy for their basic necessities,” said Atty. Gloria Estenzo Ramos, Oceana Vice President.
Oceana is an international advocacy organization dedicated to protecting the world’s oceans. Since 2014, Oceana has been working closely with national and local government agencies, civil society, fisherfolk and other stakeholders to restore abundance of Philippine fisheries and marine resources.