DAGUPAN CITY, June 2 (PNA) — Mayor Belen Fernandez affirmed that June 15 is the final deadline given to owners of the few remaining illegal fish pens in all the waterways of Dagupan, saying that the grace period given to these structures is now more than one year.
She said the deadline remains and any fish pen still standing after June 15 will be demolished and the cost of demolition will be charged to owners of the same.
These were the few remaining illegal fish pens of the more than 1,700 that proliferated in the rivers of Dagupan under the watch of the past city administration.
Demolition of fish pens is now actually going on almost every day for the remaining structures whose fishes in captivity have just been harvested by their owners.
However, the mayor received a report that members of the Task Force Bantay Ilog have been fraternizing with fish pen owners and were allegedly letting them restock their pens even after making their harvest.
The deadline will stay and any government employee who will not implement this for one reason or another will be removed, Fernandez said.
The mayor has just submitted a proposed ordinance to the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) seeking to ban all illegal fish pens in any waterway in Dagupan.
However, the city has permitted the construction of fish traps, oyster rafts and fish cages which are contraptions that do not pollute the water unlike fish pens but under certain regulations specified in the ordinance.
The mayor directed city agriculturist Emma Molina to enforce the deadline whoever will be hurt as fish pens had long been the bane of aquaculture in the city being not friendly to the environment.
Last month, Molina’s office was under fire from a group of fishpond owners who they accused of being biased as some fish pens are still standing.
But Molina said these are fish structures already set for demolition on several specified dates till June 15 as earlier agreed upon. (PNA)