January 14, 2019
Fishers urged DENR to declare Manila Bay a ‘reclamation-free zone’
Manila, Philippines – The activist fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Monday urged the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to perform its mandate in protecting the environment, including the Manila Bay by declaring it as a reclamation-free zone. This, the group added, is to effectively rehabilitate one of the country’s major fishing grounds which currently suffer from environmental degradation stage caused by past and present privatization projects.
The fisherfolk group earlier lambasted the DENR for using the issue of pollution to demolish hundreds of thousands of residents, mostly fisherfolk and pave way for large-scale land reclamation projects. PAMALAKAYA casts doubt on the seriousness of the DENR to rehabilitate Manila Bay, when the said agency has keep on facilitating processes of reclamation, including providing environmental permits to proponents and private developers.
“Just last week, one of our municipal chapters had acquired a notice of public scoping from the DENR to facilitate the proposal of a local government unit to reclaim 420 hectares of Manila Bay in the part of Bacoor, Cavite. While environment secretary Roy Cimatu blames Manila Bay residents of disposing garbage and domestic wastes in the sea, he failed to address on the other hand the lethal risk of massive reclamation projects to the marine environment and ecosystem. Reclamation has caused the traditional fish and shellfish species in Manila Bay to get extinct because coral reefs and mangrove forests have been destroyed to give way to commercial business districts and private establishments which only benefit giant businesses,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson said in a statement.
Fisherfolk says no to Bulacan international airport
Manila, Philippines – The national fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) opposes the international airport project in Bulacan that has been approved by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).
With NEDA’s approval, Ramong Ang’s San Miguel Corporation (SMC) is set to build, operate, and maintain the P700-billion international “aerotropolis” which involves an airport covering 1,168 hectares and a city complex to be built at a 2,500-hectare area along Manila Bay in Bulacan, Bulacan.
For its part, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson and former Anakpawis Partylist solon Fernando Hicap said the project will lead to environmental disaster in Manila Bay threatening the livelihood of more than 20,000 fisherfolk in the municipality of Bulacan, Bulacan and other neighboring towns.
“This project will not only destroy marine ecosystem, but also the livelihood of thousands of fisherfolk who subsist by fishing in the rich fishing hub of Manila Bay,” Hicap said, also lambasting President Rodrigo Duterte for selling out fishing waters and coastal communities to foreign investors and giant developers trough his Build, Build, Build (BBB) program.
“President Duterte is on a roll in selling our coastal waters to big-time business magnates; not less than 5 destructive reclamation projects have been approved in Manila Bay since he assumed post as chief executive, all at the expense of socio-economic rights of hundreds of thousands of fisherfolk and coastal settlers,” added Hicap.
“Keep Manila Bay fish safe; oppose destructive projects”, BFAR told
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) backs the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) on its pronouncement that Manila Bay fish are free of bacterial contamination and safe to eat.
In a media forum dubbed as “Tapatan sa Aristrocrat” yesterday, the BFAR claimed that water conditions and quality in Manila Bay remain normal, thus marine products are still safe to eat.
Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson who was also at the media forum, on the other hand challenged BFAR to spearhead the preservation of marine species not only in Manila Bay but in the entire fishing waters of the country by rejecting destructive corporate projects like reclamation, dumping of industrial wastes, and conversion of fishing grounds into commercial use.
“Matagal na naming alam na ligtas kainin ang mga isda sa Manila Bay, may ilan lang na nagsasabing hindi na ito ligtas pero hindi ito napatunayan. Hindi pa rin nawawala ang banta ng tuluyang pagkaubos ng mga isda at pagkasira ng yamang dagat ng Manila Bay dahil sa mga proyektong kumbersyon at reklamasyon na sumisira sa ekolohiya nito,”
“Kaya hinahamon namin ang BFAR na pumosisyon laban sa mga mapanirang proyekto na ito at tiyakin na palagiang ligtas ang mga isda ng Manila Bay at ng iba pang pangisdaan ng bansa para matiyak rin ang seguridad sa pagkain ng mamamayang Pilipino,” Fernando Hicap, who is also a fisherman in Rosario, Cavite said.
PAMALAKAYA slams Philippine Coast Guard, MARINA for harassment of Manila Bay-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 »