Coast guard, PPA alerted on foreign dredging vessel, Zambales town mayor says
MASINLOC, Zambales – Officials of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) were previously asked to check the prolonged stay of a foreign vessel within the municipal water, Mayor Arsenia Lim on Friday said.
Lim was reacting to the statement of Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo urging the local government to address the illegal dredging activities in this town.
On Wednesday, seven undocumented Chinese workers were arrested after they were allegedly involved in illegal dredging operations here.
Police Maj. Jude Bryan Maguddayao, town’s police chief, said the Chinese workers were arrested inside a warrior dredging vessel and a sand carrier vessel anchored in a local pier here.
The foreigners have no visa and working permits, and were turned over to the Bureau of Immigration, Maguddayao said.
In a statement, Lim said the foreign vessel was first spotted here in February this year and that she had asked PCG and PPA officials to investigate its presence.
Victor Albano, officer-in-charge of PPA, responded to Lim and told the mayor that the dredging vessel had necessary permits to berth at a pier here.
Lim said the PCG personnel had also informed her that they already inspected the vessel and confirmed it was a dredging ship.
According to Lim, she would not allow any destructive activities, including illegal dredging operations, within the municipal water.
She said she received information that the foreign vessel would not conduct dredging activities here and was only anchored while waiting for other necessary documents.
The lady mayor also said the local government is actively protecting their marine resources, especially in their fish sanctuaries./ac
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