Latest Event Updates
Fisherfolk group demands aid to the zero-fishpen-affected fishworkers
Manila, Philippines – While it supports the government’s campaign to reopen the 90-thousand hectare-Laguna de Bay to small fisherfolk by dismantling vast-tracts of fish pens, the national fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) calls for immediate support to the fish workers employed in the corporate-owned fish pens that will be affected by the demolition of aquaculture structures.
PAMALAKAYA in a statement said those workers were once subsistence and small fishers that were forced to work in corporate-aquacultures due to fish catch depletion in open waters and lack of sufficient fishing gears. Workers in aquaculture are usually stay-in caretakers; they are the ones who maintain the structures, feeding until the harvesting of fish.
The fisherfolk group urges the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to determine the exact numbers of fish workers and fisherfolk directly involved in the aquaculture sector and mobilize immediate economic aid and relief to those who will be affected by the campaign.
Police harassment vs PAMALAKAYA members in Quezon continues
Sariaya, Quezon – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Wednesday decried the recent harassment committed by the Philippine National Police (PNP) under the Quezon Provincial Public Safety Company (PPSC) against the fisherfolk in the coastal barangays of Sariaya, Quezon.
According to Ara Marcellana, PAMALAKAYA organizer and regional coordinator in Southern Tagalog, the first harassment, dubbed by the PNP as ‘operation strike’ occurred on February 18 where 10 elements of the PNP in a full battle gear rummaged Brgy. Guisguis Talon to search for her and her two other colleagues. Marcellana said they are being accused by the PNP of being members of the communist-New People’s Army (NPA). The PNP interrogated the fisherfolk in the area on the whereabouts of the organizers, they even threatened the fishers not to entertain the organizers or else they will also get arrested.
The same thing happened on March 5 where 12 PNP returned to the same coastal barangay and accused the fisherfolk and other coastal residents that they are accepting and accommodating NPA members in their community. The fisherfolk denied the allegations, saying they are members of PAMALAKAYA and the organizers are helping them on their local issue which is the planned conversion of their coastal community into a coal-fired thermal power plant of the San Miguel Corp. (SMC) Global Power Holdings Inc.
In a statement, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson Fernando Hicap assailed the PNP for the harassment and threat they commit to the fishers and its organizers.
Fishing restrictions, commercial intrusion impair municipal fish output – group
Manila, Philippines – Due to irreverent intrusion of large scale commercial fishing vessels within the municipal fishing waters plus the baseless declaration of fishing restrictions, municipal fishing production slows down according to the militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Tuesday.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) has recently released its Fisheries Situationer 2016 which shows that municipal fisheries output was reduced by 6.47 percent with the volume of 1.14 million metric tons during the said year.
In a statement, PAMALAKAYA said the loss of municipal fish output is mainly cause by the entry of giant fishing fleets weighing 3 gross tons and above within the 15-kilometer municipal fishing zone that is allotted for the municipal fishers.
Fisherfolk to Duterte: Assert sovereignty against foreign intervention
Manila, Philippines – “President Duterte must fervently uphold our sovereignty against any foreign domination, whether it be the United States (U.S.) or China,”
This was the response of the militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) when a Washington-based think tank group Center for Strategic and International Studies (CISS) said to President Rodrigo Duterte to assert the country’s right over the disputed West Philippine Sea.
China for years has been posing its irrational claim in almost 90% of the South China Sea, of which $5 trillion dollar-worth of global ship trade passes each year. This includes the 80% of the country’s 220-nautical mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and another 150 extended continental shelf (ECS). The dispute has inflicted threat to the livelihood of the Filipino fishers who were deprived of their traditional fishing grounds since the sea row occurred. But due to the collective action of the patriotic sectors in the country and the initiative of the Duterte administration to talk diplomatically to China, the Filipino fishers have now been able to return to their fishing ground since last year.
Laguna lake fishers laud recent fish-pen demolitions, urge for speedy removal of vast
Manila, Philippines – The Laguna lake chapter of the fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) together with the environment alliance Save Laguna Lake Movement (SLLM) laud the recent demolition of several corporate-owned fish pens in the 90-thousand hectares brackish lake.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) spearheaded the two series of demolitions of wide fish pens on January 27 and February 24 where 3 fish pen structures covering 50 hectares each and 1 fish pen covering 25 hectares were dismantled, namely the two Gozon-owned fish pens in Cardona, Rizal, the Seven Eleven Fishing Corporation and the Habagat Multipurpose Cooperative in Binangonan, Rizal respectively.
PAMALAKAYA said so far, no small fish cages and fish traps/corals (baklad) have been subject to ejectment but they reiterate their call to spare those small fish structures owned by small fisherfolk and some fisherfolk cooperatives because it serves as their alternative livelihood to open fishing since the latter is not sustainable enough due to dwindling of fish catch.
Fisherfolk supports Gina Lopez’ appointment as environment Chief
Manila, Philippines – “No environment Secretary in the past has ever stood against giant mines as Secretary Gina Lopez does.”
This was the statement of the militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Wednesday in support to Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Gina Lopez’s confirmation on her appointment as environment chief.
“We laud the sincerity of Secretary Lopez to cancel renowned large mining firms. This will not only spare the environment from further devastation but moreover, it will preserve the livelihood and communities of the people that have been always the casualties of destructive mining,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
In Mindoro, the anti-mining alliance Kaisahan ng mga Mindoreno laban sa Dayuhan at Dambuhalang Pagmimina (KALAS-MINA) scores victory after the DENR has cancelled the sharing agreement and compliance certificate of a foreign mine earlier this year. The environmental compliance certificate (ECC) and Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) of the Norwegian-owned Intex Resources, the proponent of the multi-billion Mindoro Nickel Project were recently cancelled by the DENR under Lopez’s leadership.
Palawan fishers reject provincial fishing-regulation order
Puerto Princesa, Palawan – The provincial chapter of the fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) in Palawan opposes the provincial declaration on the “Guidelines for the Regulation and Monitoring of Catching, Culture, Trade, Transport and Export of Reef-Fish-For-Food in Palawan” also known as Administrative Order (AO) No. 5 Series of 2014.
According to the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD), the implementing agency of the AO, the regulation aims to “balance and conserve the province’s reef fish for food (RFF) from deterioration due to over extraction and habitat destruction” The RFF is any of the fish species found in corals and serves as primary source of food in the province.
Some of the major features in the AO are the following: 1) Species based regulation; 2) Open and Closed Season; 3) Size Restrictions; 4)Permitting System anchored from Wild Life Act; 5) Option to post bond; and 6) Monitoring and Enforcement Mechanisms. The open and closed seasons are declared twice a year, with the open season starts from January 1 to June 15 and September 1 to October 15; while the closed season is from June 16 to August 31 and October 16 to December 15.
In a statement, the Palawan-based PAMALAKAYA official said the administrative order aims to limit and curtail the fishing activities of small and municipal fishermen under the guise of preserving the marine environment.
“Don’t get us wrong. We know that marine species in Palawan are in peril but that’s because of irreverent intrusion of large-scale local and foreign commercial fishing fleets that exploit our fishing resources. Limiting the small fisherfolk from our fishing activities will do nothing to preserve Palawan’s dwindling fishing industry but it will inflict harm to our livelihood,” Ely Ruta, PAMALAKAYA Vice-Chairperson for Luzon said in a statement.