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 »
Fisherfolk staged Manila Bay-wide fluvial protest vs Nat’l Reclamation Plan
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”.
Fisherfolk staged “fishing strike” against Navotas reclamation
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,”
Manila Mayor Estrada hit for its public stunt Manila Bay clean-up
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.
Fisherfolk staged State of the Fishers’ Address (SOFA) to assess President Duterte
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.