Press Release
June 18, 2016

Villar bats to balance the need to increase marine life production and the need to protect our marine waters

Alarmed by the reports of experts that our seas will be turned into "virtual desserts" by 2050, Senator Cynthia A. Villar said she has been pursuing legislations to balance the need to increase marine life production and the need to protect the sustainability and biodiversity of our oceans or marine waters.

Because of this, Villar said she has been pushing for environmental protection especially the marine environment.

"I was the principal author and sponsor of Republic Act 10654 (An Act to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing, Amending R.A. 8550) which had been enacted into law for a year," said Villar.

Together with the House of Representatives, Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, fisherfolks and their communities and other concerned individuals and organizations, Villar said they worked hard to ensure the passage of R.A. 10654.

In her speech during the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary 32nd National Convention, Villar stressed that the amended law will level the fishing legislation at par with other countries, particularly with regards to conservation measures regarding threatened aquatic species, highly migratory species, and other marine resources.

Based on the 2010 Census of Marine Life, 90 percent of the large fish are already depleted due to over fishing. She cited reports on the extinction of giant fishes in our country.

"According to the study, overfishing has almost wiped out 59 big fish species such as the green bumphead parrotfish, the African pompano, the giant grouper, and the mangrove red snapper," said Villar.

But the Nacionalista Party senator expressed hope that this condition can be averted with the strict implementation of the provisions on our new Fisheries Code that imposes strict monitoring of illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

"In the past, we have heard incidents when some commercial fleets have been able to fish in municipal waters, which are reserved for municipal fisherfolks. There were also some incidents when fish catch was under reported," said Villar.

As chairperson of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, Villar said she has a greater appreciation of the importance of protecting our marine environment. She noted that there is a huge link between marine protection and our agriculture sector and future food security.

"We know that farming and fishing or the fisheries sector make up the bulk of our agriculture sector. The Philippines being an agriculture country, so it is important that we have a steady or sustainable supply and sources of food--vegetables, livestock at mga isda," said Villar.

"And these are all dependent on environment protection. Marine environment protection, in particular, is important for the fisheries sector," added the senator as she acknowledged the Coast guards for helping protect our maritime environment and highlighting climate change in their convention.

The Nacionalista Party senator warned on the adverse impact of climate change in our country. She said a recent United Nations report identified our country as the third-most at-risk from climate change in the world.

?She said another report-- Global Climafte Risk Ondex 2015, recently released by Environmental organization German Watch ranked the Philippines number one, followed by Cambodia and India.

The Global Climate Risk Index 2015 is the list of countries most affected by weather-related disasters like storms, floods, and heat waves.

"Problems due to climate change are realities that we Filipinos have been facing, particularly in recent years when extreme weather conditions--such as super typhoons, massive flooding, El Niño and La Niña phenomena among others--have been causing death and destruction in our country," further stated Villar.

News Latest News Feed