Bill seeking incentives, benefits for Bantay Dagat volunteers filed at Senate
MANILA, Philippines — A bill aiming to give incentives and benefits to sea wardens or “Bantay Dagat” volunteers has been filed at the Senate.
Senator Risa Hontiveros’ Senate Bill No. 1919 or the “Bantay Dagat Welfare and Incentives Act” bats to entitle volunteers insurance, PhilHealth coverage, hazard allowance, subsistence allowance, training and career enrichment programs, and access to loans.
“Our fisherfolk communities are at the frontlines of climate change. Sila ang unang-unang naapektuhan ng pagbabago sa klima, pati na ng mga negatibong epekto nito sa ating kalikasan,” Hontiveros said in a statement on Sunday.
(Our fisherfolk communities are at the frontlines of climate change. They are the first ones affected by climate change and all its negative effects on our environment.)
“This gives all the more reason, to not only recognize their noble work but also to provide tangible support. Bigyan natin ng dignidad ang kanilang ginagawa para sa ating bayan,” she added.
(This gives all the more reason, to not only recognize their noble work but also to provide tangible support. Let’s give them dignity for what they do for our nation.)
The proposed measures grant sea wardens security of tenure. They shall not be removed except for just and valid reasons determined by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.
The bill also mandates local government units to allocate regular funding for Bantay Dagat volunteers and their operational requirements.
“The Bantay Dagat bill is an important step towards encouraging and giving recognition to the importance of community participation in the protection of our fisheries. But [the] government must further arm itself through modernizing and upping our defense capability towards the protection of Philippine waters,” Hontiveros said.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.