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Twelve LGUs back the effort to designate Guimaras Strait as a “protected area.”

Local government units (LGUs) in Western Visayas (Region 6) that are home to the productive fishing grounds support the proposal to designate Guimaras Strait as a “protected area.”

The Regional Development Council (RDC)-6’s chair, this city’s mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez, stated on Friday that the idea received a “very positive response” during his meeting with the concerned municipal chief executives on Thursday.

12 of the 18 LGUs that we invited showed up. The plan was accepted by all 12 without a vote, he continued.

Benitez stated in March of this year that he had suggested the formation of the Guimaras Strait Commission to oversee fishing operations in one of the most significant fishing grounds in the nation, which employs fishermen from Panay, Guimaras, and Negros Occidental.

According to Benitez, the idea aims to designate Guimaras Strait as a “protected area,” wherein the 18 LGUs will “band together, come up with a consensus and create a common management arrangement.”

Nevertheless, all economic activities must be permitted. According to their assessment, the Guimaras Strait is the source of 50,000 metric tons of seafood. He continued that we’re looking for ways to develop, safeguard, and preserve this.

The mayor added that “all LGUs can join forces and share resources” to form a single Bantay Dagat (sea patrol) unit to patrol the Guimaras Strait is also being discussed.

Each LGU is currently keeping an eye on its local waters. The speaker continued another possibility is that we collaborate to monitor and secure the Guimaras Strait together.

According to Benitez, the following phase is data collection, which includes compiling the fishing rules of the LGUs to identify the common areas that can be agreed upon.

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