Fire-affected fishers in Cavite need fishing gears, boats
Bacoor, Cavite – The fisherfolk in Maliksi III, Bacoor, Cavite who were devastated by the fire that hit their fishing community on April 5 now appeal to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to distribute fishing boats and fishing gears so they can return to their livelihood after the fire devastated their houses and other livelihood materials including fishing gears and boats.
The blaze leaves almost 500 families or more than 2,000 individuals homeless.
In a statement, the militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) said next to economic relief and aid that the local and national government have distributed to the residents is livelihood support and subsidy to assure that they may be able to return to their source of livelihood and soften the impact of the blaze on their food security.
“We urge the BFAR to mobilize its calamity fund through its boat dispersal program. Making them return to their livelihood will assure that they could also return to their community,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
The fisherfolk group slammed the local government for its response right after the tragedy which offers the residents balik-probinsya program and relocation sites in Naic, Cavite, saying the affected residents don’t want to be removed permanently from their fishing community because it also means taking them out of their livelihood. The local government through Bacoor City Mayor Lani Revilla retracted their statement after they were exposed, saying their offer of balik-probinsya and relocation site are only optional.
“We are prepared for another round of fight has the government pushes through the complete displacement of blaze-affected fishers and urban poor in Bacoor. Maliksi III and other coastal barangays in Bacoor situated along Manila Bay has been always a target for demolition in exchange for reclamation projects under the national reclamation plan to convert Manila Bay into eco-tourism and business hub,” Hicap said.
Maliksi III is part of the five coastal barangays in Bacoor, Cavite that is target for eco-tourism project covering 800 hectares under then-City Mayor Strike Revilla.
PAMALAKAYA said BFAR should ensure the safety of the fisherfolk from their community in order to continue their livelihood offshore and return to the wheels of production. The group also said that Manila Bay must be properly rehabilitated instead of doing reclamation activities which will pose complete destruction to its marine biodiversity. ###