Ilocos fishermen urged to register vessels

SAN FABIAN, Pangasinan — The Philippine National Police (PNP) Regional Maritime Unit (RMU) in Ilocos region is urging fishermen to register their fishing vessels in compliance with the law. In an interview Tuesday, RMU-1 deputy regional chief, Lt. Col. Ruben Lacuesta said most of the violations of the fishermen involve non-registration of their fishing vessel, lack of permit, and other municipal ordinances. 

In Region 1 (Ilocos), he said, some 3,434 fishing vessels below three tons are registered while an estimated 5,000 are unregistered. 

Lacuesta added their unit, along with local government units and other national government agencies, hold periodic dialogues with the fisherfolk to encourage them to comply with the law.  

“They were saying the fee for registration is high but if they got caught, the fines are even higher so we are urging them to register as this is for their own good and as law-abiding citizens,” he said. 

Republic Act 10654, which covers the licensing and registration scheme, is an act to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing.  

Fisher folk who are registered and members of an organization, Lacuesta said, benefit more from government programs and projects. 

“Whenever there are aids from the national government, the priorities are those registered and members of fishermen’s organizations,” he said.  Hilda Austria / PNA –