ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews / 23 July) – The Office of the City Agriculturist has apprehended 20 unregistered motorized bancas since January in its intensified campaign against “colorum” watercrafts.
City agriculturist Diosdado Palacat said Wednesday they intensified the campaign since 800 owners of the 2,800 registered motorized bancas did not renew their registration this year despite coordination and advice from barangay officials.
He said majority of the apprehended motorized bancas are from Barangays Curuan and Buenavista of this city.
Palacat said the owners of the apprehended unregistered motorized bancas were slapped with P1,000 fine and were required to pay the P600 registration fee per unit. Renewal of registration, on the other hand, is at P400 per unit.
He said the registration of motorized bancas is pursuant to an existing city ordinance that requires owners of watercrafts three tons and below to register with the city government.
The color or color combination of registered motorized bancas from one barangay varies from that of other villages and with corresponding code number.
Palacat said the mandatory registration of motorized bancas is part of this city’s security measures since it would be easy for lawmen to identify small watercrafts if they are from this city or not.
He said the registration of motorized bancas is also a big help in the campaign against illegal fishing since it would be easy to trace ownership for those who manage to evade arrest at sea.