AGENTS of the Philippine National Police Maritime Group have been ordered to step up their enforcement of environmental laws and other necessary measures to sustain the government’s ongoing program to rehabilitate and clean Manila Bay, officials reported yesterday.
PNP-MG director, Chief Superintendent Rodelio Jocson said that since 2011, 1,544 violators of Republic Act 8550 as amended by RA 10654 or the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998 have been arrested, jailed and fined as a result of 962 bay and river seaborne patrol operations within the Manila Bay area.
PNP chief, Director General Oscar D. Albayalde last week led a contingent of police personnel from different units in the multi-sectoral launch of the Manila Bay clean-up drive. He said that similar clean-up activities will be held every Sunday thereafter.
“The PNP is among government agencies that are the subject of a continuing mandamus issued by the Supreme Court to implement four-pronged strategies for the rehabilitation and restoration of Manila Bay to be fit for swimming, skin diving, and other forms of contact recreation,” the PNP chief said.
Gen. Albayalde noted that the PNP Maritime Group was able to apprehend individuals violating maritime laws and other related laws with 100 percent of the violators penalized by administrative fine or prosecuted by the court.
In other projects and programs related to the protection of Manila Bay, Jocson said that they have conducted 411 activities including 60 mangrove planting activities; 72 Scubasurero or underwater clean up activities and 279 coastal clean-up or ‘Linis-Aplaya’ activities within the Manila Bay area.
An aggregate 29 tons of solid waste were removed as a result of these activities, the official said.