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Batanes folk alarmed over assertive actions in disputed seas

Pia Lee-Brago - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Fishermen and officials of Batanes have expressed concern over China and Taiwan’s assertive actions in the disputed areas in the South China Sea which have prevented fishermen from going to their traditional fishing grounds.

The concern was raised during the multisectoral forum on the West Philippine Sea held recently by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and Philippine Information Agency (PIA) at the Batanes State College in Basco.

DFA Assistant Secretary and spokesman Charles Jose said at the forum that the government is well aware of the sea dispute’s effect on the livelihood of Filipino fishermen and the government has included it in the pleadings submitted by the Philippine legal team to the United Nations Arbitral Tribunal. 

The DFA brought the information and advocacy campaign on the West Philippine Sea issue to Batanes because of the island’s geographic proximity to Taiwan and China, and in recognition of the local communities’ long historical, cultural and economic ties to the sea.

Jose said the DFA and PIA aim to increase the level of awareness of the local communities in Batanes through the conduct of briefings, focus group discussions and media engagements.  

The DFA and PIA also held a workshop where they assessed the consolidated reports from different regions that hosted the West Philippine Sea information and advocacy campaign.  

Since the information and advocacy campaign on the West Philippine Sea issue was launched in early 2015, the DFA and PIA have also conducted forums, campus tours and press conferences in Cebu City, Cagayan de Oro City, Subic, Olongapo, Laoag City, Vigan, Puerto Princesa, Tuguegarao, Dumaguete, Iloilo City, Davao City, Bicol region, General Santos City and Zamboanga City. 

 

ASSISTANT SECRETARY

BATANES

BATANES STATE COLLEGE

CEBU CITY

CHARLES JOSE

CHINA AND TAIWAN

CITY

DAVAO CITY

DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

GENERAL SANTOS CITY AND ZAMBOANGA CITY

WEST PHILIPPINE SEA

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