Fish pens on titled lands snag demolition work in Dagupan

DAGUPAN CITY – Several oversize fish pens in various rivers of Dagupan City reportedly built on titled lands have snagged the work of the Task Force Bantay Ilog which to date has already demolished 68 illegal fish pens since January this year.

Maximo Solis, head of Task Force Bantay Ilog, revealed his men cannot touch all these because despite being built on supposed titled lands, they are also subject of court litigation filed by parties, particularly their previous owners.

Solis said among these are the fish pens owned by the late Arnold Carcha at the boundary of Salapingao and Pugaro now being managed by his heirs; that of former Pantal Barangay Captain Lilia Yasar in Sitio Talaib, Carael; and another owned by Alfredo Ambegua.

He said there were former fish ponds covered by Torrens titles and tax declarations which were converted by their owners into fish pens after their dikes were eroded and now formed part of the Calmay River.

Solis said that in this particular case, they just leave this matter to be settled by the City Legal Office as well as the City Assessor’s Office since he and his men are not in the position to interpret the provisions of the law regarding this.

At the same time, he admitted that all those that have remained in the rivers so far numbering around 100 are fish cages which are allowed by an ordinance but must be re-sized as they are beyond the allowable five meters by five meters.

As soon as they have harvested their fish, their owners will be forced to re-size their contraptions in accordance with the ordinance, he added.

“Perhaps, we can complete the demolition during the first few weeks of Mayor Belen Fernandez’s second term of office,” Solis said. PNA/