Abad’s wife vows to block Taiwan fish pact

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Deputy Speaker Henedina Abad of Batanes, wife of Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, has vowed to block any fishing agreement between the Philippines and Taiwan unless the Aquino administration will earmark funding for strict border control in the fishing waters in her province against Taiwanese poachers.

Abad was referring to the fisheries pact that Taiwan is pushing for with the Philippines when the two parties met in June. Under that agreement, the Philippines would impose a P2.16-million ($50,000) administrative penalty if no case was filed against the Taiwanese fishermen caught fishing in the waters off Balintang Chanel.

Abad said that it can’t be that simple, underscoring that fishermen in Batanes could only watch helplessly as their small bancas are no mach to the superior fishing junks and communication system of the Taiwanese, which ranges to 25 to 50.

“The government must first secure our porous Northern Border by equipping our Philippine Coast Guard [PCG] and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources [BFAR]. We need strong presence from these two agencies. They must be equipped with the later surveillance technologies such as unmanned aerial vehicles, drones, communication technology, and fast crafts. Unless these are in place, I will bloc any fishing agreement with the Taiwanese in Congress. I will file a Resolution in the House,” Abad said on Monday.

Abad then disclosed the Batanes authorities already found a suitable site where the PCG and BFAR can establish a secure base of operation, including the stationing of fast crafts and communication facilities, which is secure from typhoons.

“The Taiwanese go fishing as if they own our fishing waters. It is also possible that aside from poaching, the smuggling of contraband and humans may also be taking place, as had happen in the past. A PCG-BFAR facility can provide us with credible deterrence capability and, if and when necessary, the ability to pursue, apprehend and detain poachers and other interlopers. I will make representations with the President for the PCG and BFAR to immediately design and develop this facility and secure funding for it,” Abad argued.

Also, the Batanes lawmaker is wary that the decision of the Department of Justice to file homicide charges against the PCG personnel involved in the death of a Taiwanese fishing boat captain in the Balintang incident in May may embolden Taiwanese fishermen into continuing their poaching activities up north and make the PCG reluctant to pursue them.

She stressed that even when the Balintang incident was raging, Taiwanese fishermen were relentless in their poaching activities in Batanes.

“Check with your local fishermen and local government officials. They will tell you that Taiwanese poachers were not only fishing in our exclusive economic zone. They would even boldly intrude into our municipal waters. The government should tighten border patrol in the rich Batanes-Babuyan fishing areas up north, apprehend and prosecute Taiwanese poachers.

“Unless we adopt certain measures, the Balintang incident will not be the last one. Any fishing agreement with Taiwan, as had happen in the past, will be meaningless to our local fishermen and may just legitimize poaching if we do not have the capability to monitor and compel compliance with the conditions,” Abad added.

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7 Comments

  1. Adeto Yu Salditos on

    Mam. you are perfectly right, but right now we have no resources of blocking the fishing within the Philippines. Help President Aquino to obtained the Speed Boats at least five of them.These Speed Boats will be capable of monitoring fishing activities within Island after Islands, we have over 7000 islands. The speed boats for the Navy and Coast Guard is the most sensible military upgrade needed (Speed Boats) as soon as practicable.Philippine is porous islands after island Speed Boat will protect without any doubt from any trespasser fishing withing the Philippine waters to preserved the fishermen lively hood, or their way of life. Madam, insist on obtaining the speed boat and it’s cheaper that can be deployed with minimal training of the Coast Guard and the Navy. I can assure you you will like it when you have that Speed boat, and when the Navy obtained them to take a ride and experience the thrill of Speed Boat to removed anything what your mind has on these craft. Wishes you well on your endeavor for the betterment of the Republic of the Philippines.

  2. ivatan people on

    If you ask the local fisherman and people of Batanes .. The Taiwanese and Vietnamese poachers have been there for 25 plus years operating in Batanes ..So these politicians are what we call ” Nagbubulag Bulagan .. does it mean that they are also in the Payroll of the Poachers thats why they are Blind ?? very easy to confirm Taiwanese Poachers ..at night You could see the light of their boats from the main town Basco ..

  3. being an ivatan and once a fisherman in itbayat during my younger years, it is true and correct that the taiwanese fishermens are poaching not only on fishing ground but also steal our precious “arius” trees. so the move of our beloved congressman is worth fighting for ivatan fishermens. go go go cong.W abad, we support your move.

  4. For Taiwan, and any other neighbors interested in fishing in our waters, there should absolutely be no fishing allowed, none, nein, nil, zilch, nada. We do not go in your waters to fish, you cannot come in our waters to fish.

  5. name ko filipino on

    Tama si mam Abad. gawin nyo mam. sana kasing tapang nyo congressman/men ng palawan

  6. Here is a woman legislator that has balls. She represents the interest and sentiment of her constituents, and the Filipino people. We should support her in this because it is right, and we must put a stop to this Chinese poaching on our waters. This Chinese eat everything that swim, or crawl, they are despicable scums. Mr President we are being attack from all sides, lets be pro active and put a naval presence in that corner of the country. Listen to this wise woman before it is too late and have another lost island during your watch.