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.
New demolition order threatens fishing community in Cavite
Maragondon, Cavite – The fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) decries the recent demolition order served by the Naic Regional Trial Court (RTC) through the residents of Brgy. Patungan, Maragondon Cavite on May 12. Brgy. Patungan or Sta. Mercedes is a 602-hectare fishing community in Maragondon and is a home to more than 300 fisherfolk and peasant families. It is being claimed by the Maria Theresa Virata (MTV) Realty Corp.
Patungan has been sold by the MTV Realty Corp. to Manila Southcoast Development Corp. (MSDC), a developing firm owned by business tycoon Henry Sy who is about to convert Patungan into an eco-tourism hub or extension of his private beach resorts in the adjacent Hacienda Looc in Nasugbu, Batangas.
PAMALAKAYA recalled the first attempt of demolition on August last year that turned violent when around 800 combined elements of Philippine National Police (PNP), Philippine Air Force (PAF) and Virata’s private security guards surrounded and harassed the community to execute the demolition. The demolition failed through the strong resistance of the residents who defended their community and houses.
According to Dole Tambungon, a fisherman from Patungan and Spokesperson of PAMALAKAYA in Southern Tagalog, even they have frustrated the demolition attempt, private security guards and numerous police and military elements remain near their community. Tambungon said their presence creates fear and intimidation to the residents.
“If the demolition will proceed, it will displace hundreds of fishing families not only from our homes but also from our livelihood. Our forefathers have been living here for centuries; we will not let any private developing firm to suddenly take what is rightfully and morally ours,” Tambungon said in a statement.
PAMALAKAYA said they will continue to oppose any reclamation and conversion projects that destroy the marine environment and moreover, the socio-economic rights and welfare of the fisherfolk. ###
“Forget the investment sham; let’s talk about the shattered lives of people”, fishers to Chamber of Mines
“Forget the investment sham; let’s talk about the shattered lives of people”, fishers to
Chamber of Mines
Manila, Philippines – The country’s biggest mining group Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP) has earned the wrath of the militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) over the formers insistence to continue its mining operations despite the closure order of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to prevent our environment from further destruction caused by unrestrained, large-scale mining operations.
In a statement, PAMALAKAYA calls the ‘economic growth’ claimed by the COMP as an absurd and one-sided growth.
“In what universe this group of mining firms has its ‘economic growth’? They even exploit our workers through unfair labor practices and safety risks. This one-sided industry rakes profit out of our rich minerals and resources and violates the socio-economic welfare of the people. If there is only sector that can savor the said growth, it’s probably the selfish interests of big-mining firms and not its workers,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
Fisherfolk backs Lopez’s termination of mining contracts
Manila, Philippines – Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Gina Lopez has earned the words of praise from the fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) over the recent cancellation of 75 mining permits under the contract of Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) operating mainly in the country’s major watersheds.
In a statement, Pamalakaya Chairperson Fernando Hicap said this will initially bring environmental and social justice to the struggling-people who have been resisting against large-scale mining operations for the protection and conservation of our environment and social rights of the people.
PAMALAKAYA said rural people particularly farmers and fisherfolk are always the front-line casualties of large-scale mining operations due to environmental and marine degradation inflicted by wanton mining activities.
“We must say well done, Secretary Lopez. Her firm stand against large-scale mining is highly notable. Large-scale mining activities always pose threat to the community, economic and social rights of the rural people through community displacement, livelihood destruction and environmental disasters,” Hicap said.
Fisherfolk hits proposed power-plant project in Sariaya
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.
Fishers, environmentalists declare war against ‘Great Wall of Leyte’
Manila, Philippines – The fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas), People Surge, an alliance of Yolanda survivors based in Tacloban City, and environmental group Center for Environmental Concerns (CEC) are gearing for a total war against the national government’s ambitious plan to build anti-storm surge wall along the towns of Tacloban City, Palo and Tanauan, Leyte known as the Tide Embankment Project (TEP).
The TEP (also known as ‘The Great Wall of Leyte’) which costs 7.9 billion pesos is a long stretch of seawall from Tacloban to the town of Tanauan, Leyte, touted to protect people from storm surges. Of the 27.3 kilometers length of the embankment, 20.1 km. are in Tacloban, 4.1 km. will cover Palo and 3.1 km. in Tanauan. It shall have a height of about 4.5 meters and its center line said to stand 30 meters from the seashore.
In Tacloban City alone, 10,000 coastal households face impending eviction to pave way for the project based on the Tacloban North Integrate Development Plan. Many of the communities that are directly affected are still waiting for adequate rehabilitation and economic aid three years after the super-typhoon Yolanda struck the country.