Law to penalize errant fisherfolk sought

Posted on December 27, 2012

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Passenger vessels remain docked at the Cebu City port and were only cleared after 12 noon yesterday as tropical storm "Quinta" weakened into a tropical depression. (JUNJIE MENDOZA)

Passenger vessels remain docked at the Cebu City port and were only cleared after 12 noon yesterday as tropical storm “Quinta” weakened into a tropical depression. (JUNJIE MENDOZA)

AN ordinance penalizing fisherfolk and vessels that insist on sailing despite storm warnings by the Coast Guard and state weather agency Pagasa is needed to discourage trips during bad weather, a top Coast Guard official said yesterday.

Cebu Coast Guard commander Capt. Rolando Punzalan requested the passage of this ordinance during a meeting of the Cebu Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

He said the Coast Guard prohibited passenger vessels from sailing during storms as a safety measure despite complaints from some ship owners.

In the meeting, Punzalan said this prohibition should extend to fisherfolk who take chances and sail despite a storm signal warning.

Punzalan said they recorded numerous incidents of fisherfolk who went missing or were washed out days after sailing in rough waters.

He also suggested that meals should be provided to stranded passengers in the Cebu City port.

He also suggested that council put up a hotline and hold a workshop on typhoon tracking and early warning flood detection for for members./ Correspondent Carmel Loise Matus

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