Manila Bay

PAMALAKAYA slams Philippine Coast Guard, MARINA for harassment of Manila Bay-fishers

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PAMALAKAYA slams Philippine Coast Guard, MARINA for harassment of Manila DSC_1053.JPGBay-fishers

Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) denounces the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) over their harassment and intimidation against the fisherfolk who staged a Manila Bay-wide fluvial protest in time of the World Fisheries Day yesterday.

More than 20 fishing boats yesterday staged a fluvial protest in Baywalk Manila to oppose the 42 approved reclamation projects in Manila Bay covering 29, 929 hectares of waters under the National Reclamation Plan (NRP) of the Duterte administration.

Prior to the fluvial parade, elements of MARINA had threatened members of PAMALAKAYA in Navotas and Bulacan not to join the rally, or else, their fishing boats will be impounded.

While voyaging on their way to the assembly point in Baywalk Manila, fishing boats from Navotas and Cavite were blocked and surrounded by at least vessels of PCG, asserting that protests are not allowed in the area and that they are still under the “ASEAN mode”, referring to the heightened security alert status of the security forces during the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit which has already ended one week ago.

This is fascism in the sea; the Philippine Coast Guard who is supposed to guard the fisherfolk from any harm now serves as the instrument of giant developers and capitalists to push their aggression projects in our fishing waters. We strongly condemn this harassment and intimidation committed by both the PCG and MARINA against our members,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement. Read the rest of this entry »

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Fisherfolk staged Manila Bay-wide fluvial protest vs Nat’l Reclamation Plan

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Fisherfolk staged Manila Bay-wide fluvial protest vs Nat’l Reclamation PlanDSC_1079.JPG

Manila, Philippines – On the occasion of World Fisheries Day (WFD), fisherfolk under the group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) from Navotas City, Bacoor Cavite, and Bulacan staged Manila Bay-wide fluvial protest riding around 50 motorized fishing boats to call for the scrapping of reclamation projects under the National Reclamation Plan (NRP).

The fluvial parade converged in Baywalk Manila where the fisherfolk and their supporters gathered in a solidarity lunch showcasing the aquatic products of Manila Bay that are at stake if all reclamation projects push through.

In Manila Bay alone, the fisherfolk group recorded at least 42 reclamation projects covering 29,929 hectares of the gulf under the NRP. The reclamation program was approved by then-President Noynoy Aquino and continued by President Rodrigo Duterte now under the banner of the Build, Build, Build program. According to the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA), they target to complete 80 of the 102 reclamation projects under the NRP within the six-year term of President Duterte.

The group said reclamation projects in Manila Bay would entail massive displacement of fishing communities and urban poor situated along the gulf. It would also completely destroy the ecosystem of Manila Bay which is already degrading due to past reclamation projects and other corporate aggression under the guise of “development”.

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Fisherfolk staged “fishing strike” against Navotas reclamation

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Fisherfolk staged “fishing strike” against Navotas reclamationDSC_1111.JPG

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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Fisherfolk lauds rejection of Mega Harbour Project

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Fisherfolk lauds rejection of Mega Harbour Project

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Mayor Sara-Duterte Carpio | Photo by Davao Today

Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Thursday lauded the rejection of Davao City Mayor Sara-Duterte Carpio of the Mega Harbour project, a joint-venture signed by her father, then City Mayor and now President Rodrigo Roa Duterte with Mega Harbour Port and Development Corporation.

The P40-billion Mega Harbour project covers the areas from Sta. Ana Port to Bucana and involves 200-hectare reclamation intended for mixed-use, commercial, and residential use. Mayor Carpio terminated the project in July for its implications on the environment and livelihood of the people living along its target coastal area.

We welcome Mayor Carpio’s decision to reject one of the most destructive corporate activities to our fishing waters. Coastal reclamation always leads to destruction of marine biodiversity and moreover, wide dislocation of fisherfolk and coastal settlers in exchange for business ventures of few developers,”

“The City Mayor must completely put the project to an end even if the proponent finds its way to slip through the project’s technicalities and flaws. For the fisherfolk who have been always the target of its devastating impacts, reclamation can never be legal, environmentally, and socially viable,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.

The fisherfolk group said President Duterte must follow the step of his daughter by terminating all the reclamation projects pending throughout the archipelago packaged under the National Reclamation Plan by the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA). This includes some of the projects that already started in Manila Bay like the 650-hectare Navotas Boulevard Business Park (NBBP) that if completed, would effectively displace more than 20,000 fisherfolk and urban poor in the two barangays of Navotas City.

President Duterte must declare all reclamation projects illegal and disastrous to environment and the people. His daughter’s step was a welcome development, but it would be more beneficial to the Filipino fisherfolk if all reclamation projects nationwide would be totally terminated,” ended Hicap. ###

Manila Mayor Estrada hit for its public stunt Manila Bay clean-up

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Manila Mayor Estrada hit for its public stunt Manila Bay clean-up

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Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada | Photo by ABS-CBN News

Manila, Philippines – Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada on Thursday earned the ire of the militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) for its apparent publicity stunt clean-up drive in Manila Bay, saying the Mayor showed gross stupidity and negligence in rehabilitation of the dying bay.

The clean-up drive last week was claimed to be initiated by the Manila local government where it was shown in reports that trashes were first scattered in Manila Bay before proceeding with the clean-up.

The fisherfolk group ridiculed Manila Mayor Estrada for assuming that he could fool the people over his stupid publicity overdrive. The group said that it was Estrada who actually approved four destructive reclamation projects in Manila Bay over the last 6 months. Reclamation and conversion projects, according to PAMALAKAYA are the leading reason why Manila Bay is already now on its severe condition while thousands of fisherfolk and coastal settlers were already ejected from their fishing community due to past reclamation projects.

Mayor Estrada has recently approved the Horizon Manila project that covers 417 hectares of the bay. It is dubbed to be Manila’s biggest reclamation projects under Mayor Estrada. The other three that were given blessing by the Manila Mayor were the 407.42-hectare New Manila Bay International Community, the 148-hectare Manila Solar City project, and the 50-hectare expansion of Manila Harbour Centre in Tondo.

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Fisherfolk staged State of the Fishers’ Address (SOFA) to assess President Duterte

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Fisherfolk staged State of the Fishers’ Address (SOFA) to assess President DuterteDSC_0622.JPG

Manila, Philippines – In the form of street press conference, fisherfolk under the group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Friday staged its first State of the Fishers’ Address (SOFA) at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to deliver their one-year assessment on the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, as well as to air their concerns regarding the fishing sector that the administration still needs to adhere.

Fisherfolk from Laguna de Bay, Manila Bay and Southern Tagalog region gathered to bring their respective yet common issues besetting their fishing communities. Some of the key points of the assessment were the issue of sovereignty, Laguna Lake rehabilitation, and reclamation of fishing waters.

The fisherfolk group gave a satisfactory rating on President Duterte regarding the Laguna Lake rehabilitation due to his unprecedented order to demolish vast tracts of fish pens in the 90-thousand hectare brackish lake. But the group also criticized the government’s “ningas kugon” approach on the order especially after the Secretary of DENR has been replaced by former military Chief Roy Cimatu where demolition of fish pens has been set aside.

The group urged the present administration of DENR to still pursue the clearing out of fish pens in Laguna de Bay to give time for its ecological system to restore and let the small fisherfolk savor its aquatic resources.

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Fisherfolk wants wider coverage of SC’s Manila Bay mandamus ruling

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Fisherfolk wants wider coverage of SC’s Manila Bay mandamus rulingDSC_0436.JPG

Manila, Philippines – The national alliance of fisherfolk Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) urges the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to raise to the Supreme Court (SC) to broaden the coverage of its continuing mandamus order in Manila Bay and not to use the Higher Court’s order to wipe out fishing communities and poor settlers along the gulf.

The SC on December 18, 2008 ordered a writ of mandamus to 14 government agencies to clean up, rehabilitate, and preserve Manila Bay, and restore and maintain its waters to SB level (Class B sea waters per Water Classification Tables of the DENR) to make it fit for swimming, skin diving, and other forms of contact recreation. DENR as the lead of the 14 mandamus agencies was directed to fully implement its Operational Plan for the Manila Bay Coastal Strategy (OPMBCS) for the conservation and rehabilitation of Manila Bay. DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu last June instructed the Manila Bay Coordinating Office (MBCO) and his officials to fast track the implementation of the SC ruling.

In a statement, PAMALAKAYA said the rehabilitation and total clean-up of Manila Bay is long overdue. In effect, small fishers for decades endures the trend of fish-catch depletion from 10-15 kilos average fish catch per day down to 2-5 kilos of average catch on a daily basis.

We support the objective of the Honorable Court’s mandamus to rehabilitate and preserve Manila Bay in the context of it will order commercial and industrial establishments to regulate its dumping of chemical and toxic wastes on Manila Bay which comprise 75% of its pollution. The goal of the mandamus to maintain Manila Bay to SB level should not only to make its waters fit for swimming and recreational use, but moreover to restore its abundant marine and fish species for the livelihood of small-fisherfolk therein,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.

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