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Dumaguete City, Philippines Tuesday, April 18, 2017
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Guv pushes for registration
of bancas amid terror threat

Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo is pushing for the holding of a mobile registration of motor bancas in the province by the Maritime Industry Authority, to help efforts in the anti-terror campaign.

Degamo said over the weekend that he has asked the Marina about this and the agency is set to conduct the mobile registration as early as this week.

He said it is imperative that motor bancas, fishing boats and other sea craft in the province be registered and accounted for so that unidentified and suspicious vessels arriving here can be easily identified and spotted.

The mobile registration is also aimed at addressing the concerns raised by motor banca owners and operators, especially in Bais City and Manjuyod in central Negros Oriental, who are engaged in the dolphin and whale-watching tours, Degamo said.

The tourism industry in these areas thrive on the dolphin and whale-watching tours but a few weeks back, the tours were halted after the Coast Guard Station in Dumaguete City implemented the law that mandates the renewal of existing or application of new registration with the Marina.

Those that were affected by the stoppage of the tours and other operations are clamoring that a mobile registration be held here instead of them having to go to Cebu, where the Marina Regional Office is located.

Also, they are seeking for a review and possible shortlisting of the required documents, which they say is impractical, costly and time-consuming for them.

Degamo disclosed the need for Marina to set up an office here, as it does not have a regional office for the Negros Island Region.

Having a Marina regional office here would make it easier for the boat owners to regularly renew their registration, he added.

The governor, meanwhile, disclosed that Joint Task Group Deter and Joint Task Force Leon Kilat will sustain efforts on monitoring and surveillance on the threat posed by terror groups like the Abu Sayyaf.

Degamo had met with key officials of the Philippine National Police in Region 7 and the Central Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines over the weekend to be updated on the current terror threat situation in the region.

Degamo announced in that security briefing that he will be calling for a meeting with barangay captains, mayors of towns and cities that are vulnerable targets, the Muslim community and other stakeholders this week to further strengthen the province's anti-terrorism security plan.*JFP


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