Law to penalize errant fisherfolk sought

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AN ordinance penalizing fisherfolk and vessels that insist on sailing despite  storm warnings by the Coast Guard and state weather agency Pagasa is needed to discourage trips during bad weather, a top Coast Guard official said yesterday.

Cebu Coast Guard commander Capt. Rolando Punzalan requested the passage of this ordinance during a meeting of the  Cebu Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

He said the Coast Guard  prohibited passenger vessels from sailing during storms as a safety measure despite complaints from some ship owners.

In the meeting, Punzalan said this prohibition should extend to fisherfolk who take chances and sail despite a storm signal warning.

Punzalan said they recorded numerous incidents of fisherfolk who went missing or were washed out days after sailing in rough waters.

He also suggested that meals should be provided to stranded passengers in the Cebu City port.

He also suggested that council put up a hotline  and hold a workshop on typhoon tracking and early warning flood detection for for members.  Correspondent Carmel Loise Matus

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