Vietnamese, not just Chinese are the problem at Scarborough Shoal—fishermen

Vietnamese, not just Chinese are the problem at Scarborough Shoal—fishermen

A leader of a fishermen’s association stated that Vietnamese, not just Chinese, are the current problem for Filipino fishermen.

In a media interview with Fausto “Ka-Cuto” Alpay, Chairman of the Subic Commercial Association, he mentioned that most of the fishermen at Scarborough Shoal are Vietnamese.

Ka-Cuto said, that during their last visit to Scarborough Shoal, they observed around 50 Vietnamese fishermen in the area.

‘‘The rivals there now are the Vietnamese who use lights; there are many of them there now. That’s why when my boat went out to sea once, we caught fewer fish because there were around 50 Vietnamese around Scarborough,’’ Fausto “Ka-Cuto” Alpay Fisherman, Chairman, Subic Commercial Association stated.

The problem is that the Vietnamese are allegedly taking their catch.

‘‘The Vietnamese, all the payaos they see— of course, their equipment is high-tech, they know which payao has a lot of catch.”

‘‘They don’t have a mother boat like ours with all the equipment. They all use small boats, and you can see from the banners and flags,’’ Ka-Cuto said.

However, Ka-Cuto admitted that last year, it was the Chinese who cut their fishing lines.

‘‘In the past few months, around October or November, an association was awarded a payao. I wanted to help my members who use hook lines, and they requested that I drop it at Scarborough. We didn’t catch anything there. It was already cut,’’ Ka-Cuto added.

Philippines, China should find common ground to avoid war—Sen. Villar

Meanwhile, to protect the fishermen, Senator Cynthia Villar has advice for the authorities.

“Ever since—I have been the chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food for a long time. I know that BFAR watches over the fishermen because BFAR is not militarized, right?” Sen. Cynthia Villar stated.

The senator added that it is indeed part of BFAR’s mandate to watch over and protect the fishermen.

‘‘It’s natural for BFAR to take care of the fishermen. They know that there’s danger in the West Philippine Sea. If they have problems, they are there to help,’’ Sen. Villar added.

Sen. Villar then urged the current administration not to escalate tensions with China, and that it is better to discuss and find common ground between both nations to avoid affecting fisherfolks.

“The problem should not be escalated because do we want to fight with China? We’re not in a position to fight with China.”

“They have to find a common ground because my concern is the fishermen because they’re poor. That’s their only livelihood. If they fight, they’ll be affected, and that’s pitiful, right?” Villar said.

Senator Villar emphasized that she has no other wish for the country but peace.

“I have nothing against not quarreling with China and the U.S. I am for peace in the Philippines because it’s really difficult when there’s conflict in a country,’’ Villar added.


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