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Bantay Dagat(Sea Patrol)  Forces:

 

The Bantay Dagat(Sea Patrol) is a civilian fisheries patrol  force made up of volunteers that try to keep a 24 hour watch on Philippine coastal waters up to 15 kilometers from shore. A national plan that was drawn up envisions 2 patrol boats for each coastal municipality for a total of  approximately 1,600 patrol boats for the 800 coastal municipalities of the Philippines. In reality, some municiplaities will have no boats while others may have only one boat. The richer municipalities may each have more than the two planned patrol boats. Bantay Dagat patrol boats are only allowed to protect municipal waters which as mandated by law reaches up to 15 kilometers from the coastline.

 

Founded by Senator Santanina Rasul in 1994, the Bantay Dagat(Sea Patrol) has over 100,000 volunteer coast watchers as of 2000.

 

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources(BFAR) of the Philippine Department of Agriculture(DA), lead agency for Bantay Dagat, also operate two(2) Oceanography research ships including the brand new M/V DA-BFAR, a 1,156 gross ton research ship acquired from Spain.

 

The Bantay Dagat force operates a variety of patrol boats including native outriggers(bancas), fiberglass as well as aluminum speedboats. The current specifications for the Bantay Dagat patrol boat are as follows:

 

 Length-- 25 feet long

Engine-- 90 Horsepower

Capacity— 20 troopers

Hull—fiberglass

Equipment—Global positioning System(GPS) device, Binoculars, 2-way radios

 

The funding for the patrol boats comes from a variety of sources including the Bureau of Fisheries(BFAR), American non-government groups, and the Japanese government among others. Aside from municipalities using their own funds, various congressional and senate officials have also donated patrol boats including Santanina Rasul and Mr. Vilar.

 

Bantay Dagat Patrol boats:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The current exact strength, numbers, deployments, and types of patrol boats that are in actual service with the Bantay Dagat is difficult to estimate for the following reasons:

  1. Funding comes from a variety of sources including municipal, national governments, non-government organizations, and foreign aid agencies.
  2. Operation, maintenance and repair of the patrol boats varies widely because patrol boat responsibility is not at a national or even regional level ,but rather at a local or municipal level with each coastal municipality responsible for their patrol boats.

Based on information from various sources, It is estimated that there are well over  200 patrol boats being operated by Bantay Dagat forces.

 

Details of Bantay Dagat patrol boats(Incomplete List):

Deployment

Strength(# of Patrol Boats)

Type

Engine

Other Details

Funding

Dipolog, Maasin, Nasugbu, El Nido, etc.

20

Fiberglass

 

08/22/02

Dept. of Agriculture

(DA)

Calabanga, Camarines Sur

1

 

45HP

06/97

10 volunteers

Municipality

Negros Occidental

24

 

 

24 units GPS included

(2001 Report)

DA-Region 6

Aklan

13

 

 

2001 Report

DA-Region 6

Tubigon, Bohol

3

 

 

6 men per sea patrol team

Feed the Children NGO

Guiuan, Eastern Samar

1

 

 

 

Foundation for Phil. Environment NGO

Balanga, Bataan

2

 

 

For 2003

DA

Orion, Bataan

1

 

 

1997 report

 

Mabini, Nohol

1

 

 

 

 

 

10

 

 

1994

Senator Santanina Rasul

Garcia, Bohol

1

Fiberglass

 

1998

JICA

 

60

 

 

80 Bantay groups formed

1996

ADB

Alabat, Quezon

1

 

 

 

 

San  Salvador, Zambales

1

 

 

Hand held radio

1997

 

 

22

 

 

2000

ADB-JICA

Tagbilaran, Bohol

3

Outrigger with wooden hull & fiberglass bridge

 

 

Bohol Provincial Government

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Article excerpt on the use of GPS by Bantay Dagat:

 

Satellite technology helps

fight illegal fishing

Aug. 05, 2002

By Ma. Diosa Labiste

Inquirer News Service

 

ILOILO CITY - In the hands of determined sea watch volunteers, the global positioning satellite (GPS) device is a powerful tool to rid the seas of illegal fishermen.

 

Members of the Bantay Dagat of Iloilo province aboard patrol crafts fitted with the GPS  device arrested a commercial fishing vessel and its crew off Barotac Viejo town on July 29 for fishing within the municipal waters and using prohibited fishing net.

 

The sea watch volunteers caught the trawler and its crewmen who were charged with violation of the Philippine Fisheries Act or Republic Act 8550.

 

The GPS device relies on satellite feeds to determine the location of boats at sea. It helps the Bantay Dagat crew determine whether or not the vessel is within or outside the municipal waters.

 

The margin of error is some 100 meters. The GPS device was given by Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

 

 

To be continued……………

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