National Reclamation Plan

Anakpawis solon, fisherfolk file House Resolution calling for moratorium of national reclamation plan

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Anakpawis solon, fisherfolk file House Resolution calling for moratorium of 20799195_1996003800686156_7559221393389308658_nnational reclamation plan

Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Wednesday joined Anakpawis Party-list Representative Ariel Casilao and other legislators under the Makabayan Coalition on filing House Resolution No. 1201 directing both the Committees on Aquaculture and Fisheries Resources, Natural Resources, and Poverty Alleviation to conduct a joint inquiry, in aid of legislation on the socio-economic and environmental impact of reclamation projects under the National Reclamation Plan (NRP).

According to PAMALAKAYA, NRP has been adopted and widened by President Rodrigo Duterte in line with his economic path known as Build, Build, Build or massive infrastructure projects. NRP is a set of reclamation projects covering more than 40,000 hectares of Philippine waters which targets to convert its fishing use into eco-tourism and commercial purpose.

The group said hundreds of thousands of fisherfolk and coastal settlers are under threat of dislocation from community and livelihood in pursuance of the NRP.

We fear for massive livelihood and community displacement if President Duterte pushes this grandiose plan over our waters. Thousands of fisherfolk in the past had been already displaced from their homes in exchange for eco-tourism projects and businesses,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson and also a former Anakpawis Party-list solon said in a statement.

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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. ###

Proposed 2018 GAA loaded with demolition budget – fisherfolk group

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Proposed 2018 GAA loaded with demolition budget – fisherfolk groupUntitled.png

Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Wednesday decried the P3.8 trillion proposed national budget for 2018, a 12.4% higher than this year’s General Appropriations Act (GAA) where bulk of the budget or a whopping P1.097 trillion is meant for big-ticket infrastructure projects under the Build, Build, Build program of the Dutertenomics.

The group fears massive displacement and demolition of urban poor and fishing communities in pursuant to these infrastructure projects.

The 2018 proposed national budget is prone to corruption and loaded with displacement of urban poor and fisherfolk from communities and livelihood. President Duterte’s addiction to infrastructure projects prevent him to realize that the economic plan he’s focusing on is actually detrimental to the Filipino people and would less likely to contribute to economic growth. He even fails to include budget for resettlement areas for the poor families who will be affected by the projects,”

“With President Duterte’s line up of infrastructures, we will not be surprised if hundreds of reclamation projects pending throughout the Philippine waters would push through,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.

PAMALAKAYA said more than 100 coastal reclamation projects under the National Reclamation Plan (NRP) are awaiting for the palace’s approval. This covers almost 40,000 hectares of fishing waters and coastal areas, and if completed would effectively wipe out fishing and coastal communities from the Philippine map. NRP mainly includes construction of commercial establishments, eco-tourism, industrial and business hubs.

The 29% increase of budget for infrastructure is to expedite the construction of railways, airport, seaports, and bridges, where huge part of it will be sourced from local and foreign debt.

The budget increase would gratify the pet projects of both local and foreign developers and even local government. Build, Build, Build is privatization of public lands and facilities and debt-driven program that will benefit no one but the giant local and foreign oligarchs. In the end, hardworking Filipinos will shoulder the burden of this Dutertenomics’ mess through unwarranted tax increase,” added Hicap.

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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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