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Freeman Region

Bohol execs on alert vs coral smuggling

- Ric V. Obedencio/WAB -

CEBU, Philippines- The reported smuggling of precious corals of various species in other provinces has also alarmed local officials in coastal municipalities of Bohol.

This after the reports on foiled smuggling of corals in Cebu province and Manila where multi-million worth of dried black corals were confiscated by authorities for lack of supporting documents.

Malacañang even called on those fond of jewelry to boycott the buying of jewelry made of black corals to preserve the biodiversity of the country, which is said to be center of coral triangle of Asia-Pacific area.

Mayor Niño Rey Boniel of Bien-Unido town and Panglao Mayor Benedicto Alcala said they won't allow that to happen in their areas and they will not put their guard down against this kind of illegal activity.

Boniel, in a text message to The FREEMAN, said he will strengthen his fish wardens and Bantay Dagat. For his part, Alcala said that though it has not happened yet in his turf, he will do the same.

Earlier, Panglao's rich marine ecosystems were reported to be the target by poachers in gathering and harvesting tropical fish species, especially in Puntod Island, just off the shallow Panglao Bay.

Also, in the coastal town of Loon, a report had it that star fish species found their way in sun driers for trading to other provinces. But this was not independently confirmed by authorities concerned.

The provincial government of Bohol has consolidated the District Coastal Law Enforcement Councils (CLEC) that will serve as guardians of the marine ecology, including the more than 170 marine protected areas (MPAs) or fish sanctuaries.

Recently, seven municipalities received fast crafts that they could use in curbing illegal activities on coastal and marine areas.

ALCALA

ASIA-PACIFIC

BANTAY DAGAT

BOHOL

BONIEL

DISTRICT COASTAL LAW ENFORCEMENT COUNCILS

MAYOR NI

PANGLAO BAY

PANGLAO MAYOR BENEDICTO ALCALA

PUNTOD ISLAND

REY BONIEL OF BIEN-UNIDO

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