DENR

Fisherfolk welcomes seed distribution in Laguna de Bay, calls to pursue fishpen demolition

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Fisherfolk welcomes seed distribution in Laguna de Bay, calls to pursue fishpen vlcsnap-2017-03-12-20h15m55s860demolition

Manila, Philippines – The national fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Wednesday acknowledged the government’s dispersal of 5 million fingerlings in Laguna de Bay through the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR). The restocking of native fish species in the 90-thousand hectare brackish lake is part of the government’s campaign to rehabilitate inland waters such as lakes and rivers.

In a statement, the fisherfolk group said the seeding in Laguna de Bay is a welcome development for this will temporarily support the livelihood of small fisherfolk and fishworkers who were affected by the government’s campaign to demolish vast tracts of fish pens in the lake.

PAMALAKAYA together with environment alliance Save Laguna Lake Movement (SLLM) raised the demand to distribute fingerlings to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) during the term of its former Secretary Gina Lopez. This is to solve the prevailing problem in the lake of fish catch depletion and to assure the fishworkers who lost livelihood due to fishpen demolition that once they return to open fishing, there will be enough fish to catch.

We are grateful that the government grants the demand of the fisherfolk for livelihood support. We still call for more fingerling-dispersal drive to convince the fisherfolk to return to traditional mode of fishing instead of being employed in private aquacultures in exchange for paltry allowance,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.

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Fisherfolk unsatisfied over DENR Chief Cimatu’s say on Nickelodeon project

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Fisherfolk unsatisfied over DENR Chief Cimatu’s say on Nickelodeon project200303113-cimatu-roy-afp.jpg

Manila, Philippines – The fisherfolk under the group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) is not pleased with the statement of Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu on the proposed Nickelodeon underwater-theme Park in Palawan.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on Friday said it will first conduct a “thorough inquiry regarding the proposed project” as they await the formal request of the said project.

In a statement, PAMALAKAYA said they expect Secretary Cimatu to oppose the project without reservation because it is no doubt that the project will pose environmental disaster to the country’s last ecological frontier.

Experts and environmentalists have already proven the adverse impact of this project, whether underwater or land-based, will bring to the marine environment for it will cause ecological disturbance to its marine biodiversity and ecosystem.

Although we welcome Secretary Cimatu’s immediate response on the project, we are not that satisfied. We find his statement playing safe and dilly dallying on the looming threat of development destruction to our marine environment. What we want is for the new DENR administration to outrightly defy the project and extend his support to the fisherfolk who will be economically affected if the project will proceed,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.

PAMALAKAYA recognizes former Environment Chief Gina Lopez’ stiff position against the proposed project where she even declared Palawan province as off-limits to destructive projects.

We remind Secretary Cimatu of Gina Lopez’ good deeds when she was still the top environment official. Why can’t Cimatu be like his predecessor who has indisputable concern for the environment and the people,” added Hicap.

The fisherfolk group likewise urges the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PSCD) to deplore the project. PSCD is a government body that focuses on environment conservation and inclusive development in the province of Palawan.

Our fishing hub is not krusty krab; it is a home to more than 300 coral species and more than 1,500 fish species in the country that benefits not only the fisherfolk but every single population who relies on fish as primary protein source. It should remain as it is. Once we convert the area from its traditional use, there is no way that we can bring back its original and bountiful ecosystem,” Hicap said.

The 400-hectare controversial underwater theme park in Coron, Palawan which drew flak from environmentalists, netizens, and fisherfolk organizations is still being pushed by its proponents – the Coral World Park Undersea Resorts and the Viacom International Media Networks, according to the Department of Tourism (DOT). ###

Reject Palawan Nickelodeon-project – Fisherfolk challenged Cimatu

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Reject Palawan Nickelodeon-project – Fisherfolk challenged Cimatbataris-bataris-org-ph.jpg

Manila, Philippines – The new head of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has been challenged by the fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) to reject the proposed Nickelodeon underwater theme park in Palawan that threatens the abundant marine resources and livelihood of the fisherfolk in the province.

The controversial underwater theme park in Coron, Palawan which drew flak from environmentalists, netizens and fisherfolk organizations is still being pushed by its proponents – the Coral World Park Undersea Resorts and the Viacom International Media Networks, according to the Department of Tourism (DOT) on Thursday.

Environment Secretary Cimatu should prove his worth. We all know that the proposed Palawan project is no protection but will pose environmental degradation to our last ecological frontier and to its marine resources. Thus we challenge the newly-appointed DENR Chief to release a public statement deploring Palawan project and that he stands in the side of the fisherfolk who will be affected if the destructive project pushes through,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.

The fisherfolk group said DENR should not issue any environmental permit has the proponent of the project requested so. Any project that poses potential environment-impact is required to acquire Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) from the DENR by submitting the project’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

The last thing the DENR could do to preserve our last ecological frontier is to abstain from securing this project with ECC,” added Hicap.

PAMALAKAYA reminds Secretary Cimatu that his predecessor Gina Lopez had opposed the project when she was still the chief steward of the environment. Gina Lopez had declared Palawan as off-limits to destructive projects.

Cimatu should follow the path of Lopez; a road towards genuine protection of the environment without putting the lives of the ordinary people at stake. If this project pushes forward, we have nothing to blame but the new DENR Chief Cimatu who until now shows no ethos in genuine environment-protection and even continuing Lopez’ actions against giant destructive mines,” ended Hicap. ###

With or without Lopez, demolition of fishpens in Laguna de Bay must proceed – PAMALAKAYA

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With or without Lopez, demolition of fishpens in Laguna de Bay must proceed – img_20170109_101828PAMALAKAYA

Manila, Philippines – Despite the rejection on the confirmation of Environment Secretary Gina Lopez on her post by the Commission on Appointments (CA) on May 3, the national fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) still pushes President Rodrigo Duterte and the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) to continue its anti-fishpen campaign in the 90 thousand hectares brackish Laguna de Bay which was spearheaded by Secretary Lopez.

We lament the rejection of Secretary Lopez as Environment Secretary; we have lost a dependable ally against large-scale mines that destroy the environment and the livelihood of the rural people. She shows that she is the most competent Environment Chief by standing firm against powerful giant mines without hesitation. She is also committed on seeking consultations with the grassroots to hear their views on government and corporate projects that will affect their civil and economic rights,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.

PAMALAKAYA said the campaign to dismantle vast-tract of fishpens in Laguna de Bay kicked off on January 27 where based on the data of LLDA, more than 1,000 hectares of aquaculture structures have been already ejected from the lake. But the fisherfolk group said it is not enough to restore the degrading lake for almost 60% of its total size is still occupied by wide fishpens owned by private corporations and individuals.

The government must continue to chase down thousands of hectares of fishpens owned by few big-time fishing firms and powerful individuals; some are local politicians and military generals conniving with the local government units and corrupt LLDA officials to monopolize and grab the rich fishing ground of small fisherfolk,” said Hicap.

The fisherfolk group said aside from dismantling of fishpens, Secretary Lopez was also convinced by the fisherfolk to stop all the reclamation activities in Laguna Lake that primarily contribute to its pollution and degradation and in order to rehabilitate the lake.

Whoever succeeds Secretary Lopez on her post should continue the pro-people policies that Lopez has started. We are already fed up by a traditional Environment Chief that is incompetent enough to prevent environmental plunderers from their destructive corporate activities at the cost of fragile environment and people’s lives,” ended Hicap. ###

Fishers cry over CA rejection of Gina Lopez

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Fishers cry over CA rejection of Gina Lopez

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Gina Lopez’ meet & greet with PAMALAKAYA leader

Manila, Philippines – “What a sad day for the Filipino fishers, green eco-warriors and environment-loving people. The influence of the big oligarchs with mining interests prevail in the Philippine Senate yesterday over the democratic demand of the people to end large-scale mining activities that pose environmental and socio-economic disaster,”

This was the sentiment of the militant fisherfolk Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on the rejection on the confirmation of Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Gina Lopez by the Commission on Appointments (CA) in the Philippine Senate yesterday.

Only 8 members of the CA voted to confirm Secretary Lopez while 18 members have rejected.

It is undeniably the giant local and foreign mining firms that destroy our environment are behind the CA’s rejection on the appointment of Secretary Lopez who want to replace her with a usual inutile Environment Chief that will protect and tolerate their destructive mining activities at the cost of environmental degradation and the livelihood of the people,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.

PAMALAKAYA said Gina Lopez will always be welcome to work with the people in fighting against giant mines and other destructive corporate activities even outside the Environment Department.

The turning down of Secretary Lopez is not the end of her advocacy to fight large-scale mines that bring catastrophe to our environment, she can still pursue her advocacy with the people in a different battlefield like in the parliament of the streets through the strong and expanding mass movement,” Hicap said.

Hicap during the support action yesterday at the Senate welcomed Secretary Lopez when she arrived and joined hundreds of progressive organizations supporting her together with Secretaries Taguiwalo and Mariano’s confirmation. ###

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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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Fishpen demolition won’t lead to food insecurity, conversion will

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Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Tuesday clarified that the campaign to demolish vast-tracts of fish pens in Laguna de Bay will not affect the food security in the country as long as it would be followed by a proper rehabilitation of the lake that would bring back its natural ecology.

The government through Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Gina Lopez is leading a national campaign to liberate the 90-thousand hectare brackish lake from private and corporate-owned fish pens. This is in accordance with President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to let small fisherfolk maximize and benefit from the lake, whom for years have been deprived of their communal fishing grounds due to fish pen proliferation.

Several fish pen structures have been ejected since January including the Gozon-owned fish pens in Cardona, Rizal measuring 100 hectares.

The fisherfolk group seen this campaign as a welcomed development for the restoration of Laguna de Bay for it will initially unwind the lake from further degradation caused by chemical-based pellet feeds use in culturing fish. Read the rest of this entry »