US and Philippine divers partnered together for a second time to install artificial habitat reefs in Maragondon, Cavite on Oct. 8, 2019.
US Embassy
Philippine, US divers plant artificial reefs in Cavite
Patricia Lourdes Viray (Philstar.com) - November 12, 2019 - 2:07pm

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine and American divers installed artificial habitat reefs in the waters of Maragondon, Cavite last month to promote environmental conservation and biodiversity in the area.

Philippine and US military personnel partnered with local government representatives, non-governmental organizations (NGO) and local residents and installed the reefs for the second time last October 8 as part of Operation Pamamalakaya.

"[Operation Pamamalakaya] aims to protect, develop, conserve and promote biodiversity in the marine environment for sustainable fisheries in the area, including adjacent fishing grounds," DV Boer Farm CEO Dexter Villamin said.

NGO DV Boer Farm, one of the partners of the project, was also involved in the installation of artificial reefs in Batangas a few months ago.

More that 40 divers and barge crew members of the Philippine Air Force, Armed Forces of the Philippines Special Operations Command (Socom) and US Armed Forces assisted in the deployment of the reefs, the US Embassy said in a media release.

The divers planted 60 jackstone-type artificial habitat reefs off the coast, which will cover the sunken structure of coastal communities in Cavite.

The artificial reefs will also revitalize marine life and improvise fishing livelihoods in the community.

AFP Socom commander Maj. Gen. Divino Rey Pabayo noted that pollution and destructive fishing techniques, such as illegal use of explosives, trawling methods and general overfishing threaten Philippine coral reefs.

"To address this reality, there needs to be an international approach between governments and NGOs dedicated to preserving and protecting these coral reefs, which are a natural treasure," Pabayo said.

US Armed Forces diver Maj. Ryan Bone stressed that marine biodiversity is vital for a sustainable ecosystem.

"It's wonderful to be able to assist in an endeavor that helps preserve this environment for generations to come," Bone said.

In August, Philippine and US troops, together with partners, planted 30 artificial habitat reefs in Calatagan, Batangas.

The project is also supported by the Philippine Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Philippine National Police and local government units.

OPERATION PAMAMALAKAYA US-PHILIPPINES TIES
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