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20/03/2018: PCG HONOLULU MEETS WITH HAWAII DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION ON FISHERMEN ISSUE

(L-R): Consul General Joselito A. Jimeno, Hawaii Transportation Director Jade Butay and Consul Roberto T. Bernardo
The Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu met with Mr. Jade T. Butay, Director of the State of Hawaii Department of Transportation, on 19 March 2018 to discuss what could be done for the Filipino fishermen at Pier 17, while a bill to address the issue is being reviewed in the U.S. Congress.

U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono and Sen. Brian Schatz filed a bill in 2017 entitled the “Sustainable Fishing Workforce Protection Act,” (S.2071) to authorize the temporary entry into the United States of alien crewmen employed on longline fishing vessels originating in Hawaii. The bill is currently in the Senate Judiciary Committee for review.

In the meantime, PCG Honolulu focused on what could be done within Hawaii, such as the provision of a basketball hoop and balls to benefit the fishermen. Another issue discussed with Mr. Butay was the provision of additional permanent toilets and a disaster shelter in Pier 17. As earlier reported, there is only one toilet in Pier 17 serving about 240- 300 fishermen.

Mr. Butay promised to look into the situation and to talk to boat owners about the provision of additional toilets and see what could be done. (END)