Fisherfolk welcomes seed distribution in Laguna de Bay, calls to pursue fishpen demolition
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.
Fisherfolk unsatisfied over DENR Chief Cimatu’s say on Nickelodeon project
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). ###
Fishers cry over CA rejection of Gina Lopez
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. ###
EARTHDAY ACTION: Fisherfolk, environmentalists back top environment chief on pro-people, pro-environment policies
EARTHDAY ACTION: Fisherfolk, environmentalists back top environment chief on
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.
Fishpen demolition won’t lead to food insecurity, conversion will
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 »
Fisherfolk supports Gina Lopez’ appointment as environment Chief
Manila, Philippines – “No environment Secretary in the past has ever stood against giant mines as Secretary Gina Lopez does.”
This was the statement of the militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Wednesday in support to Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Gina Lopez’s confirmation on her appointment as environment chief.
“We laud the sincerity of Secretary Lopez to cancel renowned large mining firms. This will not only spare the environment from further devastation but moreover, it will preserve the livelihood and communities of the people that have been always the casualties of destructive mining,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
In Mindoro, the anti-mining alliance Kaisahan ng mga Mindoreno laban sa Dayuhan at Dambuhalang Pagmimina (KALAS-MINA) scores victory after the DENR has cancelled the sharing agreement and compliance certificate of a foreign mine earlier this year. The environmental compliance certificate (ECC) and Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) of the Norwegian-owned Intex Resources, the proponent of the multi-billion Mindoro Nickel Project were recently cancelled by the DENR under Lopez’s leadership.