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Fisherfolk to DENR: Enforce environmental-protection policies against coastal-
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) urged the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to enforce its laws protecting the environment on the coastal communities that are under the threat of conversion and reclamation from private entities and corporations.
DENR’s policies and programs like National Greening Program (NGP) and Coastal Resource Management Program (CRMP) by essence prohibit any private entities to own and privatized the land and coastal waters categorized as protected areas by the environment agency. The CRMP, through its salvaged zones allot the 20 meter-land from the shoreline as an open access for all.
An existing example of coastal areas with CRMP declaration is in Brgy. Sta. Mercedes (then Patungan) in Maragondon, Cavite. Patungan which is a home to 353 families, mostly fisherfolk are facing looming threat of demolition perpetrated by the Maria Theresa Virata (MTV) Corp., a real estate firm that claims and allegedly sold the 602-hectare fishing community to Henry Sy who wants to make Patungan as an extension of the latter’s Hamilo Coast Beach Resort in its neighbor province of Nasugbu, Batangas.
Maragondon, Cavite – The fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) and its members in Cavite call the attention of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Chairperson Chito Gascon on the ongoing economic blockade and human rights abuses in the disputed Brgy. Patungan in Maragondon, Cavite.
Brgy. Patungan is being claimed by the Maria Theresa Virata Realty Corp., a developer who allegedly sold the 602-hectare fishing community to business-tycoon Henry Sy. Brgy. Patungan is the target to be an extension of the Sy-owned Hamilo Coast beach resorts situated in Nasubu, Batangas. More than 300 fisherfolk and peasant families are under the threat of demolition in line with the land dispute.
The land dispute has already inflicted various human rights violations and harassments against the residents including the violent demolition that occurred on August 22-23 where demolition team combined of Philippine National Police (PNP) and Philippine Air Force (PAF) had fired guns and tear gas towards the resisting residents.
The worst human rights violation against the residents accounted up to date is the economic blockade and restriction among the locals from entering and going out of their community committed by the Virata’s private security guards.
According to Susan Agner, a resident and President of Save Patungan Now Movement, restriction of goods and visitors occur since the land dispute happens followed by the positioning of private security guards and police around their community.
‘Aquaculture Superpower’ hit, Senator Pangilinan lacks knowledge in fisheries –
Manila, Philippines – The fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Friday chided Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan for his inaccurate statement on fisheries during his opening statement at the Public Hearing on the establishment of a Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DFAR) at the Senate yesterday.
Sen. Pangilinan, who chairs the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, said our country is capable of being an “Aquaculture Superpower” due to our ‘diverse’ fishing waters. He cited top fish exporting countries like France who earned 600 million Euros annually from their oyster and mollusk industry.
For its part, the fisherfolk group opposed the idea of converting our communal fishing waters into enclosed, private aquaculture oriented for export instead of promoting an open-fishing grounds based on domestic consumption.
“It seems Senator Pangilinan is not in touch with the reality. He is incognizant of the fact that our fishing industry is backward because of the import-dependent and export oriented production. The country’s long-time reliance on export and import kills our local fish production and small producers. We export fresh marine products served in a silver platter overseas while importing low-class, putrescent fish in return. Sino’ng lugi?” Fernando Hicap, Pamalakaya Chairperson and a former Anakpawis Partylist solon said in a statement.
Fisherfolk group expressed reservations in the proposed ‘Fisheries Department’, might say ‘yes’ only if..
Fisherfolk group expressed reservations in the proposed ‘Fisheries Department’,
might say ‘yes’ only if..
Manila, Philippines – The fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya-Pilipinas) on Thursday raised its reservations and recommendations on the proposed Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DFAR) filed in the Senate.
The Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, jointly with the Committees on Civil Service, Government Reorganization and Professional Regularization and Finance will conduct a Public Hearing on the proposed DFAR today. The Senate Bills to be considered were filed by three senators including the S.B. No. 51 authored by Sen. Pangilinan, S.B. No. 242 authored by Sen. Legarda and S.B. No. 397 authored by Sen. Hontiveros.
According to the position paper submitted by Pamalakaya on Senate’s Committee on Agriculture and Food, they welcome the initiative to transform the Bureau of Fisheries into Department but it should simultaneously transform its laws, policies and programs affecting the fisheries sector as well.
The fisherfolk group said as long as the old fisheries laws and programs that do not benefit the fisherfolk are in the picture, this proposed agency would remain inutile and incompetent in addressing the plight of the impoverished fisherfolk and backward fishing industry in the country.
“As long as the 18-year old Fisheries Code of 1998 and its amendments are implemented, the fisherfolk sector won’t liberate from the shackles of poverty, even if there is this department that will focus on the sector,” Fernando Hicap, Pamalakaya Chairperson said.