The local government units in Romblon province released a resolution against the passing of House Bill 7853, which seeks to allow commercial fishing vessels to catch fish within the 15-kilometer municipal fishing ground.
The said resolution was signed by the 17 mayors in the province, said Romblon Mayor Gerard S. Montojo and president of League of Municipalities of the Philippines – Romblon chapter.
Part of the resolution said that there is no compelling reason to expand the operations of small and medium commercial fishing vessels to more areas of municipal waters than what is stated as an exception under the law.
“Increasing national catch by commercial fishing vessels would result in inequity of benefit distribution accruing to municipal and small-scale fishers, contributing to increasing poverty,” the resolution said.
The province of Romblon has 17 municipalities wherein all of them have municipal coastal waters.
House Bill 7853 is currently pending with the House Committee on Aquaculture and Fisheries Resources since October 2020.