Palace: Long-term fishing in Panatag shoal still ‘uncertain’


MALACA√ĎANG on Wednesday was uncertain whether China will permanently allow the Filipinos to fish in the Panatag Shoal in the West Philippine Sea.

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella told reporters that the present arrangement between the Philippines is that Filipino fishermen can now “go and fish” in the shoal.

“At this stage, we’re not talking guarantees. We’re just going by the fact that they, the fishermen, can now just go,” Abella said.
“Presently, it’s going by the friendly agreement that has been raised. So we’ll go. We’ll proceed along that lines,” he added.
Following the state visit of President Rodrigo Duterte to China from October 18 to 22, Filipino fishermen has since been allowed to go to Panatag Shoal without being barred.

However, there are reports that some Chinese Coast Guard vessels continue to patrol as Filipinos return to the shoal.