Build Build Build
Fisherfolk says no to Bulacan international airport
Manila, Philippines – The national fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) opposes the international airport project in Bulacan that has been approved by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).
With NEDA’s approval, Ramong Ang’s San Miguel Corporation (SMC) is set to build, operate, and maintain the P700-billion international “aerotropolis” which involves an airport covering 1,168 hectares and a city complex to be built at a 2,500-hectare area along Manila Bay in Bulacan, Bulacan.
For its part, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson and former Anakpawis Partylist solon Fernando Hicap said the project will lead to environmental disaster in Manila Bay threatening the livelihood of more than 20,000 fisherfolk in the municipality of Bulacan, Bulacan and other neighboring towns.
“This project will not only destroy marine ecosystem, but also the livelihood of thousands of fisherfolk who subsist by fishing in the rich fishing hub of Manila Bay,” Hicap said, also lambasting President Rodrigo Duterte for selling out fishing waters and coastal communities to foreign investors and giant developers trough his Build, Build, Build (BBB) program.
“President Duterte is on a roll in selling our coastal waters to big-time business magnates; not less than 5 destructive reclamation projects have been approved in Manila Bay since he assumed post as chief executive, all at the expense of socio-economic rights of hundreds of thousands of fisherfolk and coastal settlers,” added Hicap.
In a joint protest, farmers and fishers declared war vs. TRAIN
Manila, Philippines – Fishers and farmers under the groups Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) and Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) on Monday trooped the House of Representatives (HOR) to protest and call for the scrapping of the newly-implemented Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) which according to the groups, poses a heavy burden to the agriculture sector, especially with the sudden increase of oil and petroleum products.
PAMALAKAYA mentioned in earlier statements how the TRAIN’s oil-price hike is detrimental to the fisherfolk who consume regular gasoline or diesel for their daily fishing operations.
Reiterating their earlier statement, the group said price of gasoline has increased to P49.20 per liter, from P43 per liter before the new tax reform has been implemented. This means a small fisherfolk who regularly consumes 12 liters of gasoline per fishing trip have to prepare at least P600, from P516 for the gasoline alone. PAMALAKAYA said the cost of petroleum products eats up almost 80% of their production trip.
Fishers group vows to join ouster protests against Duterte on 2018
Manila, Philippines – “It would be huge, mounting protest actions in which the central objective is to overthrow President Rodrigo Duterte from his position not later than this year,” This was the opening statement of the militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on the commencement of the year 2018.
“The growing mass resistance against this tyrannical regime is a reflection that the Filipino people had already enough of Duterte’s iron fist rule that has already claimed thousands of innocent lives,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statemet.
The group said the Duterte regime within his one year in the office has already unleashed several brutal campaigns against the Filipino people; the bloody war against drugs dubbed as “Oplan Tokhang”, the all out war which targets national democratic activists, and the extended martial law in the whole Mindanao that continues to violate the civil rights of the Filipino people in the region, especially farmers.
Mindanao martial law to push for destructive projects under BBB – fisherfolk group
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) strongly condemns the one-year extension of martial law in Mindanao that was approved by the Congress yesterday.
The group said that aside from President Rodrigo Duterte’s tyrannical aspirations, the real score behind the extension of martial law is to push through its destructive projects under the “Build, Build, Build” (BBB) program that would benefit local and foreign investors and developers.
“The Filipino people have nothing to gain from the martial law in Mindanao, only giant oligarchs who have business interests in the region and Duterte who aspires for the concentration of power will benefit from the military rule,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement, citing that 3 of the 36 big-ticket infrastructure projects under the BBB are in Mindanao region, including the P40.57 billion expansion of the Davao City airport, P14.6 billion for the Laguindingan airport, and the P31.54 billion Tagum-Davao-Digos segment of the Mindanao railway.
PAMALAKAYA said that aside from the BBB projects, the Mindanao martial law is devoted to plunderous projects that would affect the rural sector including the expansion of agro-corporation-plantations and implementation of marine sanctuaries.
There are one million hectares of plantations aimed to expand in Mindanao intended for oil palm, banana, pineapple, rubber, and sugar plantations, according to the Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA), all of these will displace farmers from their land and convert agricultural lands into vast export-crop plantations.
Duterte’s surrender of
West Ph Sea is treason – fisherfolk
Manila, Philippines – With President Rodrigo Duterte’s major setback on the issue of the sea row, he is guilty of treason for his lack of action to assert West Philippine Sea to China equates to total surrender of our sovereignty, according to the militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas).
Contrary to President Duterte’s promise before he assumed office that “he will ride a jet ski and would plant a Philippine flag” in Panatag Shoal, the President seems to soften his approach towards China; he does not recognize our winning to the international tribunal favoring the Philippines’ claim over the West Philippine Sea that China has been claiming over the last two decades.
The group said China continues to assert its 9-dash line assumption and has yet to stop its reclamation activities within the 80% of our exclusive economic zones (EEZ) that are all intended for military use and outpost. Presence of Chinese vessels is still evident in the area, causing fear and intimidation to Filipino fishermen.
PAMALAKAYA, although welcomes the return of Filipino fishermen in the disputed waters, still fears that China would anytime return in being hostile towards Filipino fisherfolk.
The group attributes President Duterte’s surrender of sovereignty to his flagship program known as the Build, Build, Build (BBB), a set of infrastructure projects that are entirely backed by Chinese loans. China is the second, next to Japan, foreign lender to fund big-ticket projects under the BBB, including the P10B-loan for Kaliwa Dam project.
“President Duterte has compromised our sovereignty in exchange for billions of Chinese loans that will mold his big-ticket BBB projects. We are afraid waking up one day and found out the entire West Philippine Sea is all gone,”
“Chinese loan grant is neither out of kindness nor a fraternal help; it is shaped by China’s territorial and economic interest in the Philippines which President Duterte has failed to notice,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement. ###
Proposed 2018 GAA loaded with demolition budget – fisherfolk group
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Wednesday decried the P3.8 trillion proposed national budget for 2018, a 12.4% higher than this year’s General Appropriations Act (GAA) where bulk of the budget or a whopping P1.097 trillion is meant for big-ticket infrastructure projects under the Build, Build, Build program of the Dutertenomics.
The group fears massive displacement and demolition of urban poor and fishing communities in pursuant to these infrastructure projects.
“The 2018 proposed national budget is prone to corruption and loaded with displacement of urban poor and fisherfolk from communities and livelihood. President Duterte’s addiction to infrastructure projects prevent him to realize that the economic plan he’s focusing on is actually detrimental to the Filipino people and would less likely to contribute to economic growth. He even fails to include budget for resettlement areas for the poor families who will be affected by the projects,”
“With President Duterte’s line up of infrastructures, we will not be surprised if hundreds of reclamation projects pending throughout the Philippine waters would push through,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
PAMALAKAYA said more than 100 coastal reclamation projects under the National Reclamation Plan (NRP) are awaiting for the palace’s approval. This covers almost 40,000 hectares of fishing waters and coastal areas, and if completed would effectively wipe out fishing and coastal communities from the Philippine map. NRP mainly includes construction of commercial establishments, eco-tourism, industrial and business hubs.
The 29% increase of budget for infrastructure is to expedite the construction of railways, airport, seaports, and bridges, where huge part of it will be sourced from local and foreign debt.
“The budget increase would gratify the pet projects of both local and foreign developers and even local government. Build, Build, Build is privatization of public lands and facilities and debt-driven program that will benefit no one but the giant local and foreign oligarchs. In the end, hardworking Filipinos will shoulder the burden of this Dutertenomics’ mess through unwarranted tax increase,” added Hicap.
Duterte’s unstable promises
Fisherfolk’s one-year assessment to President Duterte
Manila, Philippines – “Among the prominent achievement of President Rodrigo Duterte within one year in his office is the unprecedented order to demolish vast tracts of fishpens in Laguna de Bay, which for years deprived the small fisherfolk of their communal fishing ground. The campaign was spearheaded by then environment Secretary Gina Lopez. We monitor that more than 1,000 hectares of fishpens have been demolished from the time of former Secretary Lopez, until she was rejected by the powerful Commission on Appointments (CA) and her position was taken over by ex-military Chief Roy Cimatu, where the campaign started by Lopez, by our knowledge is currently put on halt,” Fernando Hicap, Chairperson of fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) said in a statement.
“On our sovereignty, we welcome President Duterte’s efforts to hold diplomatic negotiations with China resulting to the return of Filipino fisherfolk in Scarborough Shoal, after almost four years of being denied access to their traditional fishing zone due to intense Chinese militarization and hostility. But even so, the effort of President Duterte is not enough for China to completely surrender its irrational claim over our waters. Contrary to his promise, PresidentDuterte softens his assertion to China to stop its reclamation and leave the Philippine waters,” added Hicap.
“President Duterte has been mum on the long-time clamor of the fisherfolk to junk the almost two decades Fisheries Code of 1998, which was amended in time of President Benigno Aquino III through the Republic Act 10654. The hefty fines and strict fishing rules of the amended fisheries law afflict the fishing sector into deeper poverty. With the amended Fisheries Code, small-fishers today endure the heavy taxation and registration fees under the Boat Registration (BoatR) and Fish Registration (FishR) programs where they are compelled to enlist their fishing gears and even themselves to the local government only to be considered by the fisheries bureau as legal fisherfolk,” said Hicap.
“We are not surprised on why the administration pursues and actually widens the National Reclamation Program (NRP) and the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) which consists of multifold infrastructure projects. The “Dutertenomics” or the administration’s economic program focuses on major infrastructures largely funded by China. Some of the projects are land-based while some will be built on top of the water through reclamation and conversion of fishing waters. NRP consists of more than 100 reclamation projects covering 40,000 hectares of waters throughout the archipelago. These reclamation projects if completed would result to displacement of millions of fisherfolk and coastal settlers from their livelihood to pave way for private and even government projects,” Hicap lamented.