Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, now seeking his fifth term in the Senate under the Puwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) party, ended his three-day sortie in Bicol on a high note.
He had met with the political leaders of the vote-rich provinces of the region starting in Sorsogon on Saturday, Camarines Sur on Monday and Albay on Tuesday.
“Marhay na aldaw saindo gabos (Good morning to all),” he said to crowds of well-wishers along his motorcade route as he made the rounds in the region.
While meeting locals, Enrile addressed the concerns of the local fishing industry, particularly underscoring the need to curb illegal fishing.
“We need to protect the Bicol waters, particularly the Burias-Ticao Pass which is considered one of the most productive fishing grounds in the country,” the veteran lawmaker urged.
He added: “The government should come in to improve sustainable fishing in the region. If we care for the richness of biodiversity in the region, we are helping fishermen who are harvesting legally and responsibly and we are also providing more attractions in the tourism industry.”
“We need to educate the leaders in Bicol’s fishing industry to practice sustainable fishing so that we can protect our available supply in the long-term. We also need to enforce stricter patrolling and monitoring of illegal and unregulated fishing in the area,” Enrile said.
Asked about the plight of fishermen allegedly being driven away by Chinese vessels in the vicinity of Pag-asa Island near Palawan, Enrile urged government to first look into the reports.