Sep 222014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2009/09/09MANILA1872.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MANILA1872
2009-09-03 08:32
2011-08-30 01:44
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Manila

VZCZCXRO7591
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHNH
DE RUEHML #1872/01 2460832
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 030832Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5086
INFO RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE
RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MANILA 001872

SIPDIS

STATE PLEASE PASS TO PEACE CORPS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL EINV EAID RP SCUL
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR?S TRIP TO PUERTO PRINCESA HIGHLIGHTS POLICE COOPERATION, ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES

¶1. SUMMARY: An August 24, 2009, trip by the Ambassador to Puerto
Princesa City in the island province of Palawan emphasized U.S.
support for education, regional and local law enforcement concerns,
and the environment. The Ambassador visited a school supported by
the Peace Corps, attended a building dedication ceremony for the
Philippine National Police Special Boat Unit?s new headquarters, and
participated in a roundtable discussion on the live reef fish trade
in Palawan. At each of the events, she was able to emphasize the
benefits of cooperation between the people of the U.S. and the
Philippines. END SUMMARY.

—————————-
TAW KABUI SCHOOL FOR A CHILD
—————————-

¶2. The Ambassador first visited Taw Kabui School for a Child, a
school for children with special needs located in Barangay Tagburos
in Puerto Princesa City. A Peace Corps Volunteer based in Puerto
Princesa helps with physical education classes at the school, has
conducted several training sessions and workshops, and assisted in
the construction of the school?s resource center. A Peace Corps
Response Volunteer has also been recently assigned to the school and
will help to develop the staff?s teaching skills. During her tour
of the school, the only such facility in Palawan, the Ambassador
observed several classroom sessions, interacted with the children
and teachers, and discussed the challenges and rewards of working
with special needs children with the school administrators. In a
brief statement to the staff and students, she emphasized the
positive impact of the partnership between the Peace Corps and Taw
Kabui, and praised their efforts to improve the lives of the
children with special needs in Puerto Princesa.

—————————————–
PNP SPECIAL BOAT UNIT DEDICATION CEREMONY
—————————————–

¶3. In 2006, Embassy Manila partnered with the Philippine National
Police (PNP) and the City of Puerto Princesa to fund a project to
develop a small maritime law enforcement unit with intercept
capability. The unit, the Maritime Group Special Boat Unit, is
based in Puerto Princesa and will be deployed in the southwestern
Philippines in the region between Palawan and Mindanao. It will
coordinate with both the existing Special Boat Unit of the
Indonesian Polisi Perairan as well as the Royal Malaysian Marine
Police, and will carry out maritime surveillance and response
operations, seaborne law enforcement and interdiction, surface and
subsurface rescue operations, and maritime forensic investigations.
The project includes the recruitment and training of personnel, the
construction of a headquarters building for the Special Boat Unit in
Palawan, and the purchase of four patrol boats.

¶4. The Ambassador participated in the official turnover and opening
ceremony for the Special Boat Unit headquarters building during her
August 24 visit. The ceremony included a ribbon-cutting, signing of
the deed of donation of the Special Boat Unit building, and remarks
by Chief of the Philippine Police General Jesus A. Versoza and the
Ambassador. General Versoza highlighted the benefits to the economy
that enhanced sea-lane security provided, while the Ambassador noted
the success of the partnership between the U.S. Embassy and the PNP,
and praised the increased capacity of the PNP in the fight against
crime, terrorism, human trafficking, and environmental pollution.

——————————-
LIVE REEF FISH TRADE DISCUSSION
——————————-

¶5. A discussion on the live reef fish trade concluded the day?s
activities. Hosted by the World Wildlife Foundation ? Philippines
(WWF), participants included Lory Tan of WWF, Edward Hagedorn, Mayor
of Puerto Princesa City, Roberto Rodriguez, Mayor of Taytay City in
Northern Palawan, Palawan Live Fish Trade Association President
Dennis Dela Cuesta, John Pontillas of the Palawan Council for
Sustainable Development, as well as the Ambassador and USAID?s
officer in charge of the Office of Energy and Environment. The
discussion took place while cruising on Puerto Princesa Bay aboard
the MV Navorca, a boat owned and operated by WWF.

¶6. The live reef fish trade is important to the Philippines and the
Coral Triangle region. The U.S. Government supports live reef fish
trade through the Coral Triangle Initiative, a multilateral
partnership among the governments of Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New
Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Islands, and Timor Leste to safeguard
the natural coastal and fishery resources in the region. The live
reef fish trade contributes $26 million to Philippine economy
annually; about 60% of the supply is sourced from Palawan, and th
industry is a major source of income for its reidents. The
industry in its current state is not sustainable, however, as
overfishing and illegalfishing methods, such as cyanide use, have
depleed fish populations and damaged the environment.

MANILA 00001872 002 OF 002

¶7. The day?s discussion focused on the range of management actions
that could be taken to respond to declining live reef fish trade.
The options that were discussed included a complete fishing ban as
mandated by the city of Puerto Princesa, regulation of the trade
through a quota system as advocated by the Palawan Council for
Sustainable Development and the Provincial government, and
sustainable fishery management at the source level as attempted in
the Taytay area. The participants were in agreement that the live
reef fish trade must be managed better in order to provide a
sustainable income for fishermen and traders of Palawan, and
provided a variety of viewpoints on the best way to accomplish this
goal. The discussion demonstrated that stakeholders cannot move
forward with the management of the live reef fish trade if they do
not collaborate, and that a range of management actions will be
needed to address the issue.

KENNEY

   

 

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