To create awareness of the water and the marine resources that are a source of food and livelihood of the nation’s fishermen, the Philippine National Month of the Ocean is celebrated annually in May. The theme for this year is “Ang Bahura Ay Kagubatan Sa Karagatan, Ating Pangalagaan.”
The observance is held in collaboration with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Department of Agriculture through the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, local governments, all government agencies, state colleges and universities, and government-controlled corporations whose operations are relevant to the development and management of our ocean resources. In a study conducted some years ago, a group of scientists declared the Philippines as the “epicenter of marine biodiversity with the richest concentration of marine life on the entire planet.” For thousands of years, the ocean has been traditionally viewed as inexhaustible, indestructible, and limitless. That view is changing as recent reports indicate that both the global and local fishing industry has warned that the demand for fish is outstripping the natural replenishment of fish resources.
The Bureau of Fisheries and the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau and Coastal Zone Management Services is generating broader support for efforts to sustainably manage the oceans, the greatest common heritage we share. Our outlook on oceans is changing and Philippine Ocean Month gives us an opportunity to build upon that change in perception and do our part in responsibly using and managing all its resources.
We congratulate the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources headed by Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje, Protected Areas and Wildlife Management Bureau Head Dr. Theresa M. Lim, and DENR Undersecretaries Atty. Annaliza R. Teh, Atty. Ernesto D. Adobo Jr. and Demetrio L. Ignacio Jr. for their efforts in underlining the importance of the country’s marine resources in sustaining human life and raising the public’s awareness level in support of initiatives pertaining to the oceans in the Republic of the Philippines. CONGRATULATIONS AND MABUHAY!