THE Maritime Group (MG) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BFAR-ARMM) over the weekend inked an accord aimed at strengthening collaboration against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in the seawaters of the autonomous region
The Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was signed by Chief Supt. Efren Perez, the director of the PNP-MG and Janice Musali, Regional Director of BFAR-ARMM at the PNP MG headquarters in Camp Crame.
Perez explained that the MOA is a mere formalization of the on-going collaborative field enforcement between the two government agencies in the ARMM.
The PNP-MG director added that the MOA basically provides for sharing of information and seaborne assets.
“On the part of the PNP Maritime Group, it shall provide armed uniformed manpower in all fishery law enforcement operations of the BFAR-ARMM,” Perez said in a statement.
The PNP-MG director added that BFAR-ARMM on the other hand will provide technical experts such as fish examiners, fish species identifiers and fishery license experts on all of its fishery enforcement operations.
Last month, the PNP Maritime Group in ARMM through its elite team, the Maritime Special Operations Unit (MSOU) conducted a confidence building workshop in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi with fishery law enforcement officers, BFAR-ARMM in preparation for the MOA signing.
This month, both organizations will participate in a cross training program where the MSOU will conduct a water search and rescue training while BFAR-ARMM will handle marine mammal stranding training, also in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi.
Musali expressed high regard for the agreement and said she looks forward to stronger collaborative action.