TACLOBAN CITY – The City of Agriculturist Office recently conducted a four-day seminar on fisheries law enforcement aim to update the city’s fishery law enforcement team (FLET).

Remelo Anade, city agriculturist, said that the training served as a ‘refresher’ for the newly-hired fishery law enforcers, updating them on significant amendments in national laws that were not covered in their previous training sessions, and also to provide sufficient knowledge on basic apprehension procedures to handle situations effectively.

It was learned that the last training conducted in this regard was in 2014 and since then, several major amendments were made to the country’s fisheries code under Republic Act 10654.

Anade expects law enforcers after the training to have sufficient knowledge of basic apprehension procedures since he has noticed that many apprehensions occur, but often these cases are dismissed during the legal process due to technicalities.

“Gusto kasi naton i-capacitate an aton mga enforcers para maging aware hira kun ano an dapat nira buhaton during the time han ira enforcement han aton mga city ordinances and laws. We want to be equipped ha mga basic apprehension activities especially ha mga ilegalista nation ha coastal resources,” he stressed.

However, Ricardo Luna, FLET Investigator, said that cases are normally dismissed due to a lack of evidence and humanitarian considerations, as violations against the law have different levels of offenses, especially for first-time offenders or minor offenses.

Meanwhile, Luna is optimistic that the training will help them improve their work as law enforcers.

“Tungod hinin na training, ma-eenhance it amon enforcers, madedeputize, ngan normally mapadagat kami based han nakuha namon na know-how during training,” he said.

The training covered a comprehensive range of topics related to environmental law enforcement and conservation, fishing regulations, and basic apprehension knowledge, including but not limited to the Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines (Presidential Decree 705), Wildlife Act (RA 9147), Chainsaw Act (RA 9175), BFAR’s role in fisheries management and conservation, amended RA 10654, guidelines on filing administrative cases, updates on Fisheries Administrative Order (FAO) and other relevant fishery laws, rules, and regulations, as well as the mandates of various government agencies responsible for enforcing environmental laws.

Formerly known as fish warden, FLET operates under the City Agriculturist Office, as mandated by RA 7160 of the Local Government Code, having been initially an independent unit separate from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) but was later devolved and transferred to the local government unit.

As of now, there are 24 FLET members working in the city.
(DEAN MARK YU, LNU Student Intern)