ZAMBOANGA CITY — The Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) is eyeing to tap all the local fishing firms to help secure the vast maritime domain here in Mindanao against intrusions by terrorists and pirates.
Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, Westmincom chief, said Friday that workers for fleets belonging to local fishing firms can be enlisted as Naval reserve to help them guard the porous maritime area.
Sobejana said the enlistment of fishing fleets will augment the limited floating assets of the Philippine Navy (PN) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).
“The intention is to make this region very peaceful and progressive one,” Sobejana said citing the maritime potentials have not been tapped to the maximum brought about by the security issues.
Sobejana said some of the local fishing companies have already activated their own Special Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit Active Auxiliary (SCAA) and are affiliated as Naval reservists.
“There will be a huge expansion in our security coverage if all local fishing companies will be affiliated as a reserve unit of the Navy,” he said.
“They (fishing firms) will be our force multiplier,” he added.
Jaydrick Johnson Ya, Southern Philippines Deep Sea Fishing Association president, said their 30 members representing some 800 fishing vessels are ready to serve as force multipliers to help secure the maritime area within the jurisdiction of Westmincom.
Yap said their fleets comprise of purse seiners, support fleets, carriers, light boats, and sonars.
He noted that some of their workers are already enlisted as Navy and Army reservists.