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Guidote shares lessons learned in fishery law enforcement

Through the invitation of the Institute of Fisheries Policy and Development Studies (IFPDS) of the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, UP Visayas, Mr. Marlito Guidote, Policy and Enforcement Advisor of the USAID-ECOFISH Project 1, was at the UPV Miagao campus to talk about “Recent Innovations in Fishery Law Enforcement.”

 Guidote said that enforcement, by nature, poses five difficulties. It requires force, conflicts are bound to arise, there are risks involved, it is complicated, and it entails cost.

That is why he emphasized that promoting voluntary compliance is the first step to enforcement and must always take precedence. He also shared other “lessons learned in enforcement” that include the following: 

1. Coastal and fishery law enforcement must be an integral part of the resource management program of the local government units,

2. Preventive and pre-emptive enforcement is better than corrective enforcement,

3. Corrective coastal law enforcement must encompass a full range of enforcement chain,

4. There is an existence of “organized crimes” in the coastal and fisheries sector,

5. Multiple enforcement agencies must be used advantageously,

6. Transparency and accountability of enforcers must be consciously pursued; and 

7. Good works or accomplishments must be promoted and publicized.

Guidote also enumerated what makes a sustainable municipal/provincial fishery law enforcement program. According to him, this involves 1.) a team with a distinct legal personality, 2) physical identity, 3) a specific person coordinating the program, 4) a full time field team leader, 5) a compensated manpower support, 6) a human resource development program, 7) support of the PNP, 8) an operation and implementing plan, 9) enforcement assets, 10) regular/consistent enforcement activities, and 11) sufficient budget.

He emphasized that involving the Philippine National Police, particularly its top officials in the national, provincial, and municipal levels and making them understand the need to conserve and regulate the harvest of fishery resources make for an effective and sustainable fishery law enforcement.

The lecture, held on September 16, 2015 at the Pidlaoan Hall, was organized by IFPDS and funded by the Academic Program Improvement of the UP System.

By: Lyncen M. Fernandez

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