Iloilo is implementing a color-coding scheme for about 1,600 fishing vessels in the province starting this year to help identify illegal fishers encroaching on the municipal waters of the province’s 19 coastal towns.
Provincial Agriculturist Ildefonso Toledo, in an interview on Tuesday, said aside from the color-coding scheme, they also coordinated with the Maritime Industry Authority and the Philippine Coast Guard for the registration numbers.
The color-coding scheme and the registration numbers are mandated under Iloilo Provincial Ordinance 151 passed by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (Provincial Board) back in 2017 but were implemented just this year.
“Record would show us that before it was institutionalized, sad to say, those that those engaged in illegal fishing were just within Iloilo. But came those who were not from here, so it came to a point that we need the color coding,” Toledo said.
He added that with the color-coding scheme, they would know if the illegal fishers were from Iloilo or from outside of the province.
If they are from Iloilo, it would be easier for the law enforcement agencies and the Bantay Dagat to trace them as they would surely return to their municipality.
The municipalities were left to decide on their color, as stated in the ordinance.
The province procured the paints with augmentation from the municipalities.
On October 5, the provincial agriculturist will turnover paints to the municipality of Oton as part of the activities in line with the celebration of the first Provincial Farmers’ Week that began on October 3 and will run until October 7.
Toledo said the celebration was an opportunity for the provincial government to honor about 200,000 farmers for the food they produce and for their help to the local economy.
During the week, activities were lined up to raise awareness of the technology available to farmers, showcase their accomplishments during the trade fair, and recognize outstanding farmers. (PNA)