Students of the University Iloilo’s College of Law have expressed full support to Gov. Arthur Defensor’s advocacy to protect and conserve the Visayan Sea, which is surrounded by the provinces of Iloilo, Masbate, Cebu, and Negros Occidental, and is said to be very rich in marine and aquatic resources, a government press release said.
The In Solidum Student Council officials, including president Jane Sudario, vice president Joseph Allen Españo, and secretary Sherwin Galupar, visited Defensor at the Capitol in Iloilo yesterday, and presented him a copy of the “Manifesto of Support and Offer to Help” that they have initiated.
Copies of the manifesto were also given to Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources 6 regional director Remia Aparri, Department of Interior and Local Government OIC Secretary Eduardo Año, DILG 6 regional director Anthony Nuyda, BFAR national director Eduardo Gongona, Senator Cynthia Villar, and Department of Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, the press release said.
“We call on all our national and local leaders to support and intensify the anti-illegal fishing campaign that is destroying the unparalleled natural heritage of Philippine marine life,” the manifesto said.
The group also offered to help the campaign against illegal fishing “in whatever manner that may be appropriate to our capabilities.”
Sudario said they made the manifesto after hearing from environmental lawyer Tony Oposa in a symposium last week the importance of protecting the Visayan Sea, which is considered the remaining center of biodiversity in the world.
She added that they were inspired by Defensor’s passion towards the Visayan Sea protection through the intensified campaign against illegal fishing, and the implementation of coastal resource management programs, the press release added.*
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