CONVERSION

EARTHDAY ACTION: Fisherfolk, environmentalists back top environment chief on pro-people, pro-environment policies

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EARTHDAY ACTION: Fisherfolk, environmentalists back top environment chief on

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Fishers, environment activists on Earth Day picketed DENR to push the agency for pro-people and pro-environment policies

pro-people, pro-environment policies

Manila, Philippines – Gathering at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) head office in Quezon, City, the fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) and environmental activist Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (KALIKASAN) on Earth Day pushed Environment Secretary Gina Lopez to continue its pro-environment and pro-people policies, namely, the suspension of numerous large-scale mining operations that rampantly destroy the environment and the demolition of vast-tract of fishpens in Laguna de Bay that pollute its aquatic resources.

It is first time in our history that our environment Czar has prioritized the interest of the people and the environment over the narrow interest of the oligarchs. We laud Secretary Lopez’s persistent campaign against giant mining firms that destroy our mountains, forests and seas. Her anti-fishpen campaign is also highly notable as it is a long-time demand of the Laguna de Bay fishers whom for decades have been deprived of their common fishing grounds,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said during the protest.

Although welcoming Lopez’s actions, the fisherfolk group urges Lopez to also show objection against widespread reclamation and conversion of fishing waters that transform its productive fishing ground into private business ventures at the expense of its fragile marine environment and livelihood of the fisherfolk and coastal settlers.

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U.S. Pentagon runs AFP – fisherfolk group

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U.S. Pentagon runs AFP – fisherfolk groupIMG_20161019_111314.jpg

Manila, Philippines – With the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) continuation of its hostilities in the countryside despite the ongoing peace negotiations with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the communist-led National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), it is crystal clear that President Rodrigo Duterte is out of hand with his armed troops, said the militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Wednesday.

The fisherfolk group slams the AFP for its ongoing presence in Brgy. Patungan, a 602-hectare coastal community in Maragondon, Cavite where 353 fisherfolk families have been facing a threat of demolition since last year to pave way for private beach resort of the Maria Teresa Virata (MTV) Corp.

On Friday, the regional chapter of PAMALAKAYA in Southern Tagalog reported the presence of around 80 combination of Philippine National Police (PNP) and Philippine Air Force (PAF) in the community. The residents feared the presence of the armed troops might lead to another violent demolition attempt like what happened last year.

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Fisherfolk wants LLDA anti-fish pen resolution revised

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Fisherfolk wants LLDA anti-fish pen resolution revised

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Laguna de Bay fishers call for the rehabilitation of Laguna de Bay

Manila, Philippines – Responding from the sentiments of the Laguna de Bay fishers that small fish cages and fish traps (baklad) will not be spared from the government’s campaign against wide-fish pens in the 90-thousand hectares brackish lake, the militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) demands the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) to revise its Board Resolution 518.

The Board Resolution No. 518 Series of 2017 was approved on February 1, 2017 in accordance with President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to dismantle vast-tracts of fish pens in Laguna de Bay for the utilization of small and municipal fisherfolk. The Board Resolution states that wide-fish pens, fish cages and fish corrals will be dismantled to restore the lake.

The campaign against wide fish pens was lauded by the small fisherfolk from Laguna de Bay because this will bring back their common fishing grounds that were monopolized by big-aquaculture firms and individuals for years. However, they also fear that even small fish cages and fish traps/corrals known as baklad that are owned by small fisherfolk will be demolished.

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Fishers oppose new Manila Bay reclamation project

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Fishers oppose new Manila Bay reclamation project

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Manila Bay reclamation | Photo by Manila Bulletin

Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) opposes the newly-approved reclamation project in Manila Bay covering 407.42 hectares of water, dubbed as ‘a city within a city’.

Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada has recently approved a multibillion-peso reclamation project in Manila Bay that will house business and commercial hubs for tourists. The project’s Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was already signed by the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) and the UAA Kinming Group Development Corp. on Monday.

In a statement, PAMALAKAYA blames rampant reclamation activities in Manila Bay that caused storm surges and environmental degradation resulting to fish catch depletion adversely affecting the livelihood of the small-fisherfolk.

We hold the long-running reclamation activities in Manila Bay principally responsible for the degradation of the once productive fishing hub for the Filipino fishers. Manila Bay used to be productive fishing water before with an average daily fish catch of 10-15 kilos. But since the across-the-bay reclamation activities became a corporate-craze, the average fish catch of a fisherman drastically drops to 3-5 kilos all time low,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.

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Fisherfolk hits proposed power-plant project in Sariaya

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Fisherfolk hits proposed power-plant project in Sariaya

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Coastal bay of Sariaya that is a target of SMC’s power plant

Sariaya, Quezon – The municipal chapter of the fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) in Sariaya, Quezon opposes the proposed power plant by the San Miguel Corp. (SMC) which plan to construct along the town’s four coastal barangays, namely, Barangay Guisguis Talon, Guisguis San Roque, Castanas and Talaan Aplaya.

The proposed project has yet to release its details but according to Sariaya Mayor Marcelo Gayeta during a pre-dialogue with the fisherfolk leaders on Monday, he had held a meeting with representatives of SMC regarding the planned power plant after he assumed his post last year.

Our municipal Mayor has already revealed that SMC plans to construct its power plant in our coastal community at the cost of our right to livelihood and shelter,” Virgilio Sabate, PAMALAKAYA-Sariaya Chairperson said in a statement.

PAMALAKAYA-Saraya said the project would mean to displace more than 15,000 fisherfolk and coastal residents in Sariaya. The fisherfolk group said they have received warning last year that they should vacate their community for their land was already sold to an unidentified businessman.

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NEDA Chief’s planned-sabotage vs. LUC moratorium hit

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NEDA Chief’s planned-sabotage vs. LUC moratorium hit

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NEDA Director General Ernesto Pernia | Photo by http://www.gmanetwork.com

Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Monday assailed the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Director General Ernesto Pernia for opposing the two-year moratorium on land-use conversion (LUC).

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has earlier issued an unprecedented moratorium on LUC that prohibits transforming agricultural lands into tourism and private infrastructure purposes for two years. But the NEDA and its so called ‘economic team’, through its Director General opposes the decision for according to them, this will be the ‘cause of delay of government’s infrastructure projects and would give no room to investors’.

DAR’s moratorium on land-use conversion is the first time in our history and considered as initial victory to the long-peasant’s struggle. This will spare the farmers and fisherfolk from rampant eviction from their communities in exchange for eco-tourism projects yet the NEDA wants to impede this road towards a genuine land reform that will benefit our farmers and fishers. NEDA’s stand against LUC-moratorium is anti-people with tantamount to willful betrayal among the Filipino peasantry,” Fernando Hicap, Pamalakaya Chairperson said in a statement.

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Fisherfolk group expressed reservations in the proposed ‘Fisheries Department’, might say ‘yes’ only if..

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might say ‘yes’ only if..

Manila, Philippines – The fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya-Pilipinas) on Thursday raised its reservations and recommendations on the proposed Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DFAR) filed in the Senate.

The Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, jointly with the Committees on Civil Service, Government Reorganization and Professional Regularization and Finance will conduct a Public Hearing on the proposed DFAR today. The Senate Bills to be considered were filed by three senators including the S.B. No. 51 authored by Sen. Pangilinan, S.B. No. 242 authored by Sen. Legarda and S.B. No. 397 authored by Sen. Hontiveros.

According to the position paper submitted by Pamalakaya on Senate’s Committee on Agriculture and Food, they welcome the initiative to transform the Bureau of Fisheries into Department but it should simultaneously transform its laws, policies and programs affecting the fisheries sector as well.

The fisherfolk group said as long as the old fisheries laws and programs that do not benefit the fisherfolk are in the picture, this proposed agency would remain inutile and incompetent in addressing the plight of the impoverished fisherfolk and backward fishing industry in the country.

As long as the 18-year old Fisheries Code of 1998 and its amendments are implemented, the fisherfolk sector won’t liberate from the shackles of poverty, even if there is this department that will focus on the sector,” Fernando Hicap, Pamalakaya Chairperson said.

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