Fisherfolk welcomes new name of ‘Benham Rise’, calls to strengthen our claim over the plateau
Manila, Philippines – The fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) welcomes the renaming of Benham Rise to Philippine Rise as a way to exercise our claim over the 13-million hectare resource rich underwater ridge.
President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday signed the Executive Order No. 25 renaming the undersea feature.
In a statement, PAMALAKAYA said a welcome development to assert our rightful claim over the rise. The group urges President Duterte to fortify the protection of our territory from any foreign fishing fleets that exploit our waters and marine resources.
“Whether it is named Benham Rise or Philippine Rise, as long as the government allows foreign commercial fishing vessels to enter our territory, we may not be able to fully utilize our water. What’s in a name when the Filipino fisherfolk are not the ones who benefit from the abundance of our marine territory,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
Provide aid to the El Nino affected small fishers, BFAR urged
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya-Pilipinas) on Friday urged the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to provide adequate economic support to the municipal fisherfolk who are affected by the El Nino phenomenon.
According to BFAR, 100, 000 fisherfolk throughout the archipelago are affected by the El Nino. The volume of fish catch in 15-kilometer municipal waters might also decrease by 279, 000 tons or 23 percent of the annual volume fish catch.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) had warned the severe strength resulting to prolonged drought the El Nino phenomenon would bring this year.
Meanwhile, Pamalakaya urged the BFAR to mobilize its 2016 budget for the mitigation of the impact of the prolonged drought and for the rehabilitation and direct support to the El Nino-stricken-fisherfolk in the country.