Pagasa Island residents taking part in protecting Philippine sovereignty

Fishermen of Pagasa Island are willing to defend Philippine territory in West Philippine Sea with vast maritime resources against illegal fishers and intruders.

Pagasa Island administrator Mary Joy Batiancila said that residents are worried with the illegal fishing activities particularly done by Chinese and Vietnamese around the island.

According to Batiancila, Philippine Coast Guard, Pagasa barangay officials and their fishermen would often chase or warn these illegal fishers away.

“They are engaged in blast or dynamite fishing. They also use cyanide. This leads to a drop in the fish catch or incomes of our own fishermen,” she said.

Mayor Eugenio Bitoon-on of Kalayaan town said local officials of Kalayaan and Palawan are concerned with the illegal fishing activities for it endangers one of the richest fishing grounds of the Philippines, the West Philippine Sea.