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Lawmakers want military pact ended

The Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives on Monday again called for the abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreement between the United States and the Philippines to avoid future intrusion of American vessels in the country’s protected areas. In House Resolution 3018, Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano, said the damage created by USS Guardian on Tubbataha National Reef Park last Jan 17 will jeopardize fish production and livelihood at least 100,000 fisher-folks and fish workers in commercial vessels in the West Palawan Sea and the Sulu-Celebes Sea and adjacent waters in Visayas and Mindanao. The resolution said Tubbataha network of corals helped fish generation and production extending to major fishing grounds in Panay and Guimaras Islands, Negros Islands, Cebu and Bohol Islands and the rest of the Visayan Sea. “The government should adopt a measure to address the issue on the livelihood of the affected fisher-folks and the possible way on how to prevent similar incidents in the future,” Mariano said. He said it would take one year for a millimeter of mostly hard corals in the Tubbataha’s South section to go back to its sound condition and 250 years for a meter of coral to mature.
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