Enterprise opportunities for Padre Burgos’s Bantay Dagat

With the continuous destruction of marine resources and the corresponding loss of livelihood, a group of 13 fisherfolks banded together in 2009 to protect the municipal waters of Tayabas Bay from illegal fishing.

Called Ipil Action Group (IAG), the group relentlessly pursued fisherfolks who engaged in illegal and destructive practices such as dynamite fishing and trawling.

“Nagtagumpay kami at napahina namin ang pwersa nila,” said Leonardo dela Peña, president of IAG.

Through the capacity development provided by Tambuyog Development Center, an organization that helps coastal communities and marginalized fisherfolks, IAG was not only trained as better sea patrols, the members were also given the opportunity to improve their income through bangus-raising training.

Currently, IAG has 32 members and they are still considered the force to reckon with when it comes to protecting the municipal waters.

“Kapag may tumawag sa aming ibang barangay, kami ay pumapasyal at tumutulong. Dahil ‘pag alam nilang (fisherfolks with illegal activities) may action group, ilag na sila dahil alam nila na hindi namin sila titigilan,” dela Peña added. 

IAG is now looking to partner with Peace and Equity Foundation (PEF) in capacity development, especially in the fields of management and finance.