Monday, March 3, 2014
Malacanang Palace Says: Panatag Shoal Still Open to Local Fishermen
The government has not closed down Panatag Shoal for fishing activity despite the territorial dispute between the Philippines and China, Malacanang said on Monday. Pres. Spokesperson Lacierda affirmed that Pilipino fishermen are still free to fish in the area even after the water cannon incident involving Chinese patrol ships. The Philippines earlier lodged a protest against China for driving away fishermen in the Panatag Shoal using water hoses. China however ignored Manila's protest insisting the area is within it's territory. Lacierda said the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) would provide assistance to fishermen affected by the incident in disputed shoal to protect their livelihood. Fish sanctuaries or Payao would be installed as alternative fishing ground for local fishermen. PNoy and Malaysian Prime Minister Razak instead pushed for a peaceful settlement of the territorial dispute in the South China Sea.
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