National Reclamation Plan

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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Duterte’s unstable promises; one-year assessment on President Duterte

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Duterte’s unstable promises
Fisherfolk’s one-year assessment to President DuterteIMG_20161007_103319.jpg

Manila, Philippines – “Among the prominent achievement of President Rodrigo Duterte within one year in his office is the unprecedented order to demolish vast tracts of fishpens in Laguna de Bay, which for years deprived the small fisherfolk of their communal fishing ground. The campaign was spearheaded by then environment Secretary Gina Lopez. We monitor that more than 1,000 hectares of fishpens have been demolished from the time of former Secretary Lopez, until she was rejected by the powerful Commission on Appointments (CA) and her position was taken over by ex-military Chief Roy Cimatu, where the campaign started by Lopez, by our knowledge is currently put on halt,” Fernando Hicap, Chairperson of fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) said in a statement.

On our sovereignty, we welcome President Duterte’s efforts to hold diplomatic negotiations with China resulting to the return of Filipino fisherfolk in Scarborough Shoal, after almost four years of being denied access to their traditional fishing zone due to intense Chinese militarization and hostility. But even so, the effort of President Duterte is not enough for China to completely surrender its irrational claim over our waters. Contrary to his promise, PresidentDuterte softens his assertion to China to stop its reclamation and leave the Philippine waters,” added Hicap.

President Duterte has been mum on the long-time clamor of the fisherfolk to junk the almost two decades Fisheries Code of 1998, which was amended in time of President Benigno Aquino III through the Republic Act 10654. The hefty fines and strict fishing rules of the amended fisheries law afflict the fishing sector into deeper poverty. With the amended Fisheries Code, small-fishers today endure the heavy taxation and registration fees under the Boat Registration (BoatR) and Fish Registration (FishR) programs where they are compelled to enlist their fishing gears and even themselves to the local government only to be considered by the fisheries bureau as legal fisherfolk,” said Hicap.

We are not surprised on why the administration pursues and actually widens the National Reclamation Program (NRP) and the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) which consists of multifold infrastructure projects. The “Dutertenomics” or the administration’s economic program focuses on major infrastructures largely funded by China. Some of the projects are land-based while some will be built on top of the water through reclamation and conversion of fishing waters. NRP consists of more than 100 reclamation projects covering 40,000 hectares of waters throughout the archipelago. These reclamation projects if completed would result to displacement of millions of fisherfolk and coastal settlers from their livelihood to pave way for private and even government projects,” Hicap lamented.

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Save Manila Bay and its fisherfolk – BFAR told

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Save Manila Bay and its fisherfolk – BFAR toldDSC_0417.JPG

Manila, Philippines – Challenging the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to fulfill its mandate in protecting the marine environment and welfare of fisherfolk, the national fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) asks its Director Eduardo Gongona to express opposition against destructive and widespread reclamation activities in Manila Bay, which according to the group is one of the primary factors on why the gulf gradually deteriorates.

The approach by the group came after Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada approved another reclamation project in Manila Bay, the Horizon project touted as Manila’s biggest land reclamation project covering 417 hectares of water. The project was proposed by the real estate J-Bros Construction firm and costs P100 billion.

Manila Mayor Estrada is on a killing spree in approving development projects that would actually destroy Manila Bay and we have no last resort but to tap BFAR whose mandate is to preserve our marine environment and the Filipino fisherfolk. BFAR must denounce and reject the reclamation galore of the Manila Mayor for it will worsen the condition of the already dying Manila Bay,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.

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Fisherfolk, environmentalists unite against coastal conversion & reclamation

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Fisherfolk, environmentalists unite against coastal conversion & reclamation

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PAMALAKAYA Chair Fernando Hicap discussed the adverse effects of reclamation projects in fishing sector

Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Wednesday spearheaded the launching of the broad alliance Koalisyon Kontra-Kumbersyon at Reklamasyon (KKKR) at the Redemptorist Church Baclaran. The alliance includes environmental groups Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment, Center for Environmental Concerns (CEC), church organizations, and students from St. Scholastica and University of the Philippines Manila.

In a unity statement, the anti-reclamation alliance vows to oppose all types of reclamation and conversion of fishing waters and coastal communities that pose adverse effects both to socio-economic rights of the fisherfolk and marine environment.

PAMALAKAYA during the forum presented the national plan of Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) to reclaim more than 40,000 hectares of fishing waters throughout the country. Approximately 2/3 of the project will be found in Manila Bay including the 148-hectare Solar City Project and the newly approved project of Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada dubbed as ‘city within a city’ covering 407.42 hectares of the gulf.

If completed, the grandiose plan of PRA will eject thousands of fisherfolk families and coastal settlers from their livelihood and coastal community. It will pose grave threat to the marine environment and its resources that can also have long-term effect on the country’s fish supply and food security,” Koalisyon Kontra-Kumbersyon at Reklamasyon (KKKR) said in a unity statement.

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PRA releases national reclamation plan through PPP-Menu

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PRA releases national reclamation plan through PPP-Menu

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The ‘Casa Agra: PPP Menu’ released by the Philippine Reclamation Authority

Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) vows to oppose the national reclamation plan of the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) released on its Land Reclamation and Dredging Summit held on April 24-25 held at the Le Pavillion Hotel in Pasay City.

PRA’s national reclamation plan is dubbed as “Casa Agra, PPP Menu” which is named after its current Chairman, Alberto Agra.

PRA is completely selling-out our fishing waters and coastal communities to big developing firms at the cost of the livelihood of the fisherfolk and marine environment. Thousands of fisherfolk and coastal settlers are in the verge of displacement if this grandiose project of PRA is implemented,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.

The national reclamation plan consists of not less than 100 reclamation projects covering almost 40,000 hectares of fishing waters throughout the archipelago. Approximately 2/3 of the project is located in Manila Bay. Some of the projects have already been started, particularly in Navotas City, where the 650-hectare Navotas Boulevard Business Park (NBBP) will be constructed.

Not only the project will affect the fisherfolks’ livelihood, but it will also pose devastating impact on the marine environment and its resources. This always results to decrease volume of fish catch. One clear example is in Manila Bay where maximum fish catch averages to 5 kilos, from 10-15 kilos before reclamation and conversion activities have become corporate and government craze.

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