January 24, 2019
Bacoor fishers picketed DENR’s ‘public scoping’ for reclamation
Bacoor, Cavite – Carrying with them placards that say “Yes to Rehabilitation, No to Reclamation”, fisherfolk and local residents under the local chapter of the fishers’ group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) protested the Public Scoping held by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) at the Bacoor City Hall Gymnasium on Thursday.
The said public scoping was for the proposal of the local government unit of Bacoor, Cavite to reclaim 320-hectare Bacoor and Development Project and another 100-hectare Diamond Reclamation and Development Project along Manila Bay within the municipal waters of Bacoor, City.
Public scoping is an early stage of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) where the proponents aim to provide an overview of the proposed project before the stakeholders.
Alyansa ng mga Magdaragat sa Bacoor, PAMALAKAYA’s municipal chapter, denounced the reclamation project by submitting their position paper and petition letter signed by thousands of coastal residents who will be affected by the 420-hectare reclamation project to the DENR.
“420 hectares of our productive fishing waters will be transformed into commercial and industrial hub; while at least 7, 000 fishing and urban poor families will be effectively displaced and affected by the plan of LGU to reclaim Manila Bay. The relocation sites that they offer will never be enough because it is always far from civilization with no market, hospitals, and schools nearby; unlike in our present community where almost everybody can fish,” Myrna Candinato, President of Alyansa ng mga Magdaragat sa Bacoor said.
Candinato, who is already living with her family in Barangay Maliksi III for decades now, owns a mussel farm that is only enough to send her grandchildren to school. Candinato, along with other mussel growers and municipal fisherfolk in Bacoor fear that they may not be able to fish anymore once the DENR grants the LGU’s reclamation project with environmental permit and area clearance.
The fisherfolk group also raised suspicion that the assembly was only a ‘formalization’ process to make it appear that there was a public consultation happened but in actual reality, there might be already a done deal between the DENR and LGU to push through with the reclamation project.
“The DENR must heed the fishers’ call to refrain from facilitating processes of reclamation including this public scoping. It is not enough that the DENR will only publicly announce that they will not let reclamation projects when what happens in the ground is that they provide venue to proponents to present such projects. This is not the rehabilitation we want for Manila Bay, but a genuine one that will benefit us,” ended Candinato. ###
January 18, 2019
Manila Bay fishers protested Manila Bay reclamation disguised as ‘rehabilitation’
Manila, Philippines – Manila Bay fishers under the group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Friday trooped the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) head office to protest the pseudo-rehabilitation of Manila Bay that includes demolition of at least 300, 000 fisherfolk and settlers.
PAMALAKAYA, along with the residents of Manila Bay and environmental activist group Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment urged environment secretary Roy Cimatu to craft a genuine rehabilitation program that will restore Manila Bay back to its traditional use as fishing grounds, and not to further transform it into a vast commercial and tourism hub at the expense of its marine ecosystem and hundreds of thousands of population residing around it.
“Manila Bay is deteriorating, don’t get us wrong. We are the ones who suffer from the effects of its environmental degradation on a regular fishing basis. But wiping us out from Manila Bay to give way for its further privatization will do more harm to its ecosystem than good. Ever since that reclamation and conversion have become the government and corporate craze, massive mangrove forests have been uprooted and productive coral reefs were destroyed. Fish catch has dramatically declined to 2-5 kilos every fishing trip,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson and a fisherman in Manila Bay lamented during the protest.
January 14, 2019
Fishers urged DENR to declare Manila Bay a ‘reclamation-free zone’
Manila, Philippines – The activist fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Monday urged the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to perform its mandate in protecting the environment, including the Manila Bay by declaring it as a reclamation-free zone. This, the group added, is to effectively rehabilitate one of the country’s major fishing grounds which currently suffer from environmental degradation stage caused by past and present privatization projects.
The fisherfolk group earlier lambasted the DENR for using the issue of pollution to demolish hundreds of thousands of residents, mostly fisherfolk and pave way for large-scale land reclamation projects. PAMALAKAYA casts doubt on the seriousness of the DENR to rehabilitate Manila Bay, when the said agency has keep on facilitating processes of reclamation, including providing environmental permits to proponents and private developers.
“Just last week, one of our municipal chapters had acquired a notice of public scoping from the DENR to facilitate the proposal of a local government unit to reclaim 420 hectares of Manila Bay in the part of Bacoor, Cavite. While environment secretary Roy Cimatu blames Manila Bay residents of disposing garbage and domestic wastes in the sea, he failed to address on the other hand the lethal risk of massive reclamation projects to the marine environment and ecosystem. Reclamation has caused the traditional fish and shellfish species in Manila Bay to get extinct because coral reefs and mangrove forests have been destroyed to give way to commercial business districts and private establishments which only benefit giant businesses,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson said in a statement.
Imported GG poses health risk to humans – fisherfolk
Manila, Philippines – “Not only that imported, frozen round scad (galunggong) is no longer fresh, but also a health risk for consumers because they are often contaminated with formalin to make them last long,” according to the fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas), warning the public not to patronize and oppose the importation of 17,000 metric tons of galunggong approved by the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).
“Both DA and BFAR obviously don’t care about the welfare of the people; aside from we will be fed with stale fish (bilasa), our health will be put at risk. It is already a fact that majority of imported frozen marine products especially coming from China are tainted with formalin, a chemical primarily used to preserve cadavers. Just imagine if this chemical will be infused into the food that we eat!” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
Scientific studies said that formalin is highly toxic and pose short-term health effects to humans including coughing, wheezing, nausea, irritation of skin, nose, and throat; while long term effect may lead to leukemia and cancer.