30 illegal wharves uncovered in Zambo PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 25 June 2011 15:12

Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) Zamboanga Port Manager Leonilo Miole disclosed that there are at least 30 wharves operating illegally in Zamboanga City.
Miole, who was designated as team leader of Task Force Pantalan, made the announcement after the task force completed the conduct of inventory of all wharves—government and privately owned—in this city.

He said that most of the wharves illegally operating are located in this city’s east coast.
Miole said they noted during the inspection that most of the wharves, classified as finger or mini wharves, were constructed for the convenience of coastal communities.
In order to construct a port, permits must be asked from the PPA and the City Government to include a foreshore lease agreement with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Miole said.

He said they have already submitted the findings to Mayor Celso Lobregat, who ordered the creation of Task Force Pantalan, for appropriate action.
Lobregat issued Executive Order CL-383-2011 on January 17, 2011 to check on the proliferation of illegal construction of ports or finger wharves in coastal areas of this city as these could be used as staging areas for underground activities specifically human trafficking, illegal trade of marine products and other prohibited items.

The task force is composed of Lobregat, City Administrator Antonio Orendain Jr., representatives from Naval Forces Western Mindanao (NFWM), Zamboanga Coast Guard Station, Maritime police, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), City Environment and Natural Resources Offices (CENRO)-West and East, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatics Resources (BFAR), Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) and other concerned agencies.

Aside from the conduct of the inventory, the task force is also tasked to recommend for the immediate demolition of illegal piers/finger wharves when warranted; recommend the filing of appropriate suit in Court against the violators when these violators do not voluntarily demolish the same; and, recommend other measures that will appropriately address non-repetition of the violations cited by the report of the task force.

Lobregat is set to meet the Task Force Pantalan to determine what action will be taken against the existence of illegally constructed wharves in this city.
The mayor has ordered a crackdown on illegal wharves as he said that most of these are being used for smuggling, human trafficking and other illegal activities.— TPG