City Council steps into 'Diwal' harvest row
ROXAS CITY – The Sangguniang Panglungsod will look into the conflict involving the harvesting of Diwal (angel wings) along the boundary of Punta Cogon, Roxas City and Brgy. Aghu, Panay, Capiz.
Police reportedly fired warning shots at divers harvesting Diwal in the area recently.
City Councilor Dennis Altobano referred the conduct of investigation to the Committee on Agriculture chaired by City Councilor Greg Arcenas.
Arcenas will invite City Agriculturist Buddy Borda in their regular session next week to shed light on the issue.
Reliable sources told The News Today-Capiz that the said area is now abundant of Diwal where many businessmen coming from Manila, Iloilo, Boracay and other parts of the country flock to Roxas City to buy Diwal in the amount of P280.00 per kilo then sold it to their place from P500 to P 600 per kilo.
Panay Mayor Dante Bermejo said that due to the tension that took place last week between divers from Roxas City and Panay, he temporarily ordered a halt to the harvesting of Diwal.
Mayor Bermejo also said that they have placed markings on the boundary of Roxas City and Panay so that there will be no overlapping among divers coming from their town and Roxas City.
To recall, police from Panay and Roxas City also engaged in a gunbattle over the disputed boundary some years ago.
Diwal is a sweet, juicy and tender tasting bivalve which is abundant during the months from May to July.
However, it disappeared from the city's coastal waters several years ago due to indiscriminate fishing methods employed by some fishermen.
In 1994, the city government declared a moratorium on the gathering of Diwal and funded a study of the Institute of Agriculture, College of Fisheries, University of the Philippines in the Visayas in Iloilo to establish sanctuaries for Diwal and help regenerate its dwindling population then.
The study eventually succeeded in making possible the resurgence of the prized bivalve and its continuing existence.
During the stint of former Mayor Antonio del Rosario, now 1st district congressman, in the year 2005 and 2006 Diwal Festival was held to promote the bivalve.
However, it was stopped during the time of City Mayor Vicente Bermejo because it has become scarce after its sanctuaries were damaged because of indiscriminate fishing and exploitation of some fishermen.