BFAR challenged to defy reclamation plan in Manila Bay fish conservation areas

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Manila, Philippines – “If there is a government agency that should oppose reclamation projects, it must be the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) that has declared some parts of Manila Bay as fish conservation areas,” according to the activist fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) demanding the BFAR to back the sentiments of the fisherfolk against reclamation projects in Manila Bay.

Data from the BFAR shows that there is an existing conservation area for sardines in the southeastern part of Manila Bay which numerous reclamation projects will be found – including the 318-hectare Manila Waterfront City, the 419-hectare Horizon Manila, the 407.42-hectare New Manila Bay International Community, and the 50-hectare expansion of Manila Harbour Centre. The BFAR-declared conservation area, the group further added, lies the concentrations of fish larvae, phytoplankton, nitrate, nitrite, phosphate, and silicate that all play a significant role to the marine ecosystem.

Reclamation will effectively destroy the same amount of sea grasses and soft-bottom communities that serve as the spawning ground and habitat of variety of marine life. Moreover, they are the primary sources of livelihood for fisherfolk and food supply for the entire country. Allowing reclamation projects to happen will defeat the purpose of the government programs to conserve fish species and other marine resources. The BFAR should issue a public statement denouncing the reclamation projects pending throughout the Manila Bay and advance the protection of its marine life to improve fisheries productivity,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson said in a statement.

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Bacoor fishers picketed DENR’s ‘public scoping’ for reclamation

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January 24, 2019

Bacoor fishers picketed DENR’s ‘public scoping’ for reclamation

Bacoor, Cavite – Carrying with them placards that say “Yes to Rehabilitation, No to Reclamation”, fisherfolk and local residents under the local chapter of the fishers’ group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) protested the Public Scoping held by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) at the Bacoor City Hall Gymnasium on Thursday.

The said public scoping was for the proposal of the local government unit of Bacoor, Cavite to reclaim 320-hectare Bacoor and Development Project and another 100-hectare Diamond Reclamation and Development Project along Manila Bay within the municipal waters of Bacoor, City.

Public scoping is an early stage of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) where the proponents aim to provide an overview of the proposed project before the stakeholders.

Alyansa ng mga Magdaragat sa Bacoor, PAMALAKAYA’s municipal chapter, denounced the reclamation project by submitting their position paper and petition letter signed by thousands of coastal residents who will be affected by the 420-hectare reclamation project to the DENR.

420 hectares of our productive fishing waters will be transformed into commercial and industrial hub; while at least 7, 000 fishing and urban poor families will be effectively displaced and affected by the plan of LGU to reclaim Manila Bay. The relocation sites that they offer will never be enough because it is always far from civilization with no market, hospitals, and schools nearby; unlike in our present community where almost everybody can fish,” Myrna Candinato, President of Alyansa ng mga Magdaragat sa Bacoor said.

Candinato, who is already living with her family in Barangay Maliksi III for decades now, owns a mussel farm that is only enough to send her grandchildren to school. Candinato, along with other mussel growers and municipal fisherfolk in Bacoor fear that they may not be able to fish anymore once the DENR grants the LGU’s reclamation project with environmental permit and area clearance.

The fisherfolk group also raised suspicion that the assembly was only a ‘formalization’ process to make it appear that there was a public consultation happened but in actual reality, there might be already a done deal between the DENR and LGU to push through with the reclamation project.

The DENR must heed the fishers’ call to refrain from facilitating processes of reclamation including this public scoping. It is not enough that the DENR will only publicly announce that they will not let reclamation projects when what happens in the ground is that they provide venue to proponents to present such projects. This is not the rehabilitation we want for Manila Bay, but a genuine one that will benefit us,” ended Candinato. ###

Use rehab fund to restore mangroves in Manila Bay, DENR urged

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News release

A scenic view of Taliptip in Bulakan, Bulacan
January 21, 2019
Use rehab fund to restore mangroves in Manila Bay, DENR urged
Manila, Philippines — “The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) should instead use the P47-billion Manila Bay rehabilitation fund to restore mangroves, sea grasses, and coral reefs that were destroyed by past and present projects for development aggression,” According to the militant fishers group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) on Monday.
The DENR has been launching a clean-up campaign in the historic bay, but the fisherfolk group lambasted one of its first phases that includes demolition of at least 300,000 settlers, including fisherfolk who subsist in Manila Bay by fishing.
“We reiterate our position and very strong support in the rehabilitation drive of Manila Bay to restore its traditional use as fishing grounds for small fisherfolk. But ejecting us out from the coastal areas only to give way to reclamation projects will be met with strong resistance from the fishing and coastal sector. Rehabilitation should benefit us, not violate our socio-economic rights, it should restore Manila Bay’s ecosystem, not further destroy,” Fernando Hicap, National Chairperson of PAMALAKAYA and a fisherman in Manila Bay said.
PAMALAKAYA said the P47-billion budget is more than enough to install mangrove forests that serve as fish sanctuary and pollution filter.
The fisherfolk group claimed that thousands of hectares of mangroves were destroyed before to give way for commercial and industrial hubs. From decades ago until 1995, the group further noted, mangrove areas in Manila Bay used to cover 54, 000 hectares but they have significantly shrunk to 2,000 hectares and at present, only less-than-a-500-hectare is left.
“Now the remaining coastal periphery of mangroves, salt marshes, and diverse biodiversity in Metro Manila known as the Freedom Island is threatened with the reclamation of 635-hectare Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area (LPPCHEA) project. This systematic and corporate-driven destruction of our environment has to stop,” ended Hicap. ###

Duterte guilty of genocide, crimes against humanity – fisherfolk

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Manila, Philippines – “By withdrawing to the ICC, Duterte is guilty of committing genocide-like crimes against the humanity. This is to fuel Duterte’s passion for all-out abuse of human rights and civil liberties of the Filipino people,” According to the militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) condemning the move of President Rodrigo Duterte to pullout from the Rome Statute, a treaty which created the International Criminal Court (ICC).

While the Duterte government never respected the ICC, it is still bothering to pull out from this international treaty because it will elude him from any legal sanction and accountability over his unbridled human rights violations,” said Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson in a statement.

PAMALAKAYA said even prior to the ICC withdrawal, the Duterte government was already unstoppable in committing grave crimes against the Filipinos through the brutal war on drugs dubbed as “Oplan Tokhang”, which has already claimed thousands of lives; and even bound to commit war crimes by encouraging his troops to disregard the international humanitarian law in the battle field through his marching order to shoot armed rebels right away.

Duterte will join countries not signed to the treaty like Myanmar and Israel who never respect human rights. He is hell-bent in pursuing the political culture of state terror and brutality,”

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Laguna Lakeshore Road Project nixed

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Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) together with its ally environmental group Save Laguna Lake Movement (SLLM) oppose the Laguna Lakeshore Road Network Project, a proposed road project of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) that would connect Metro Manila to key provincial areas situated along the Laguna de Bay.

The P50-billion road project, according to DPWH, would span 90 kilometers and will link Bicutan in Taguig City to Los Banos, Laguna and several parts of the Rizal province. Its implementation period will start from 2018 to 2026.

For their part, PAMALAKAYA and SLLM said in a joint statement that the road project is a pretext to the Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike Project (LLEDP), a P122.8-billion privatization project that was opposed and thwarted by the fisherfolk, environmentalists, and residents of Laguna de Bay during the term of then-President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino for its disastrous effects to the environment and the fishers.

The newly-proposed road project in Laguna Lake is nothing but a government’s ploy to complete its longstanding LLEDP dream. Because the LLEDP has been widely exposed to the public of its catastrophic effect to the environment and livelihood of the fisherfolk, the government comes up with a new, different name to pacify the outrage of the people,”

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Fisherfolk staged “fishing strike” against Navotas reclamation

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Manila, Philippines – “We call on to stop the 650-hectare reclamation project in the city of Navotas that will phase-out more than 20,000 fishermen and coastal settlers in the country’s fishing capital,”

This was the call of the Navotas fishermen under the banner of the group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Tuesday at their fluvial protest action in Manila Bay, dubbed as fishing strike against reclamation.

The fisherfolk rode in more than 25 fishing boats while roaming from Barangay Tangos to Navotas Centennial Park where the fences and markers are being installed in preparation to the reclamation project, known as the Navotas Boulevard Business Park (NBBP).

The NBBP is a 650-hectare reclamation project approved by city Mayor John Rey Tianco intended for commercial and mixed use. More than 20,000 Navotas fishermen are expected to be displaced if the project pushes through.

The fisherfolk group likened their fate under the reclamation project to hundreds of thousands of Jeepney drivers if government’s Jeepney phase-out program nationwide will proceed.

Like our Jeepney drivers who will lose livelihood due to Jeepney phase-out, the Navotas reclamation would effectively phase-out thousands of fisherfolk and urban poor from their livelihood and community in the name of government’s pseudo-development project. Ever since, reclamation projects are far from the interest of the fisherfolk but a detrimental to their livelihood and moreover to the delicate marine environment,”

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Trump not welcome in Ph – fisherfolk

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Manila, Philippines – “He would be the unwelcome guest, greeted by thousands of enraged Filipino people with protest,”

This was the statement of the militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) in response to United States (U.S.) President Donald Trump’s approval to Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s invitation to visit Manila on November for the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit.

The fisherfolk group said Trump’s visit to Manila could instigate the intensification of the ongoing deadly war waged by the Duterte regime against the Filipino people, as the U.S. President gave its full blessing to Duterte’s bloodthirsty campaigns, namely, the war against drugs, the anti-insurgency all out war, and the martial law in Mindanao.

Trump is not welcome in the Philippines. Being a racist and warmonger President, we fear that the ongoing state-sponsored war against Filipinos may intensify the moment he set his foot on our soil by arming the local savage troops with U.S.-made high-powered military armaments,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.


The group said the Filipino people have nothing to gain from Trump’s visit; instead it would be nothing nothing but a reassertion of centuries-old colonial control of the U.S. to the country.

Trump’s visit is part of the United States’ loyalty check if they are still in control of our political, economic, and military affairs. This is to secure that the puppet bureaucrats in the Philippines still advance America’s imperialist interests,” Hicap added.

The group warns of bigger protest actions together with various patriotic organizations to object Trump’s visit on November.

We vow to stage massive protest actions against the United States’ continuous intervention and to show that we reject any pseudo-assistance that Trump would offer to the country,” ended Hicap.

The group instead calls for the termination of all unequal US-RP military agreements like the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT), and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) that pose serious threat to our national security and sovereignty. ###