A lawmaker over the weekend vowed to re-introduce in the 16th Congress a measure seeking to establish marine reserves for aquatic resources in coastal provinces, cities and municipalities of the country.
Rep. Marcelino Teodoro of Marikina City first filed the bill during the 15th Congress but the House Committee on Aquaculture and Fisheries failed to tackle the bill.
The said bill seeks to amend Republic Act (RA) 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991.
Under the proposed measure, each coastal province, city and first class municipality will have a marine reserve for aquatic resources and a fisheries officer who shall serve as the supervising officer of the marine reserves.
Teodoro said that the country, being an archipelago surrounded by large bodies of water, should have a marine-based economy.
“The country should have given important credits to the resources found in water especially the fishes,” he said.
“By pursuing this marine-based economy, the State will be able to make full use of the country’s marine resources,” Teodoro said.
The fisheries office shall have a regulatory function and will act as peace officer within the reserve, enforce rules and regulations to protect the reserve from damages and illegal activities and prohibit persons from cutting or gathering mangrove forest products.