The government, through the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR), has committed to help the 22 fishermen who were abandoned after their fishing boat was allegedly hit by a Chinese vessel in the waters off the Recto Bank (Reed Bank) on June 9.
DA Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol, in his FB page, said BFAR Regional Director Elizer Salilig on Friday welcomed the fishermen upon arrival at Occidental Mindoro aboard the Philippine Navy vessel BRP Ramon Alcaraz.
He said Salilig gave each of the 22 fishermen a sack of rice as immediate assistance.
The BFAR official also committed to distributing 22 fiberglass boats with complete accessories, including engine and nets to the fishermen, Piñol said.
Earlier reports from the Western Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines said: “a certain Chinese vessel accidentally collided with a Filipino fishing boat on June 9, 2019, at around midnight” while it was anchored near the Recto Bank (Reed Bank) in the West Philippine Sea.
The Chinese vessel immediately left the scene, abandoning the 22 Filipino crewmen.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said the Philippine government has already filed a diplomatic protest against China regarding the incident. (Lilybeth Ison/PNA)