Fisherfolk group demands immediate aid for the “Nona” affected fisherfolk
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya-Pilipinas) on Tuesday demands for the immediate rehabilitation for the fisherfolk who have been devastated by typhoon “Nona” last December.
The fisherfolk group said that it is the sector’s backward industry and poor condition that makes them the most vulnerable to calamities. Pamalakaya blamed those mishaps to the 17-year old fisheries law – the Fisheries Code of 1998 and its amendments.
“The fishing gears, technology and boat used by small-fisherfolk compared to large commercial fishers are extremely backward making them susceptible to disasters. This only reflects for the gross neglect of the national government and the Fisheries Code of 1998 that failed to modernize the fishing industry despite its millions of budget allotted for modernization.”
“The BFAR must provide immediate relief to the affected fisherfolk in Region IV-B in order for them to return to their livelihoods and to keep the region’s wheel of production. Also, we are enraged that support only comes to us small fisherfolk when we are stricken by calamities and not before.” Salvador France, Pamalakaya vice-chairperson said in a statement.
According to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), around 15,000 fisherfolk from MIMAROPA (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan) have been displaced by typhoon “Nona”. Also according to the bureau, around 380 fishing boats were totally damaged in the region.
“The Fisheries Code have failed to uplift the lives of the small fisherfolk but only worsen their plight, making them the country’s poorest among the poor. It’s been a long standing call of the fisheries sector to completely repeal this 17-year old anti-fisherolk law and enact a new and genuine fisheries reform and a pro-people modernization that is based on the needs and aspirations of the fisherfolk and the people.” France ended. ###