In the wake of the sighting of a Chinese vessel

SEEKS NATIONAL HELP. Mapanas Mayor Ronn Michael Tejano is seeking support from the national government, particularly Coast Guard, amid sighting of a Chinese vessel on April 25, this year.

CATARMAN, Northern Samar– The mayor of a town in Northern Samar is appealing to the Philippine Coast Guard for assistance in monitoring the presence of foreign vessels, which may potentially exploit its marine resources, particularly fish.

Mapanas Mayor Ronn Michael Tejano’s appeal follows the recent sighting of a Chinese vessel, later identified as the ‘Shen Kou,’ a research vessel, approximately 80 nautical miles from their territorial waters.

“Having a monitoring system closer to Mapanas would greatly benefit us in promptly preparing and responding to similar incidents,” Mayor Tejano said during an interview on Tuesday (May 6).

“Considering that fishing is the primary livelihood of my constituents and neighboring Pacific towns, it’s important that their safety and protection is ensured,” he added.
Mapanas, situated along the Northern Samar coastline facing the Pacific Ocean, is a gateway for international trade and transportation, making it susceptible to the presence of foreign vessels.

Mayor Tejano said that around 3,000 residents of his town depend on fishing, with a weekly catch averaging nine tons, predominantly consisting of tuna, mackerel, and anchovies.

The local fishers operate within 10 to 15 nautical miles from the shore.
As he admitted that he had only learned about the presence of the Chinese vessel from news reports, Mayor Tejano stressed the importance of vigilant monitoring.

Coast Guard Ensign Bryhl Amay, deputy commander of the Philippine Coast Guard in Northern Samar, confirmed that their radar system detected the Chinese research vessel in the area.

He urged local fishermen to promptly report any sightings of foreign vessels, particularly if they are moving slowly, to assess their intentions.
Amay admitted the Coast Guard’s limited floating assets, relying solely on the Philippine Navy for support.

He revealed that the region’s Coast Guard only possesses one ship, the BRP Capones, stationed in Ormoc City, Leyte, where the regional headquarters is located.
According to Coast Guard reports, the Chinese vessel departed from Shenzhen Port on April 13, passing through Itbayat and Basco in Batanes on April 22 before being detected off the coast of Mapanas.

Subsequently, it was spotted near the waters of Catanduanes, where it was monitored by the Armed Forces of the Philippines.(JOEY A. GABIETA)