DENR facilitating foreign-sellout of Ph seas – fisherfolk
Manila, Philippines – The progressive fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) said the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is facilitating the sell-out of our fishing waters to foreign investors through the government’s nationwide “clean-up” campaign and the “no build zone” policy.
The provincial chapter of PAMALAKAYA in Palawan has reported that the municipality of Coron has already been surveyed by DENR officials in preparation to the relocation of fishing families residing within the 40-meter areas categorized as “danger zones”.
According to Elias Ruta, PAMALAKAYA-Palawan Spokesperson, around 400 families in Coron will be displaced in pursuant to the “no build zone” policy which was first implemented in the aftermath of the super-typhoon Yolanda in 2013.
“Balak palayasin ang mga mangingisda sa tabing-dagat habang mananatili ang mga pribadong istruktura at dadagdagan pa nga ng mas malalaking mga negosyo sa baybaying-dagat. Hindi rin kami naniniwala na ang pagiging “danger zone” ng aming lugar ang dahilan kung bakit kami palalayasin dahil sa dinami-dami ng mga dumaang kalamidad, nananatili pa ring nakatindig ang aming mga bahay nang wala ni anumang tulong ng gubyerno,” Ruta who is a local fisherman in Coron said in a statement.
Aid for the families of missing fishermen in Palawan urged
Manila, Philippines – The national fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Wednesday appealed for government relief and support for the families of the fishermen who died and remain missing off the Mangsee island in Palawan due to tropical storm Vinta that hit the province last week.
Citing the report of the local authorities and Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), at least 34 people have been confirmed dead while more than 60 others are still missing. Majority of the missing people and fatalities are fisherfolk.
The fisherfolk group said they are hopeful that the missing fishermen may still be able to locate by the authorities and returned to their families safe. They also urge the PCG to expedite its search and rescue operations for the missing fishermen and other victims.
“We call on the authorities to hasten the search and rescue operations for the missing fishermen and other victims of Vinta in Palawan and as much as possible, must be returned to their respective families safe. It is unfortunate that the fisherfolk are still forced to go offshore despite the turbulent weather conditions because they don’t have alternative source of income in times of natural calamities,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
The group said the national and local government must mobilize its rehabilitation funds to provide assistance to the families of the missing fishermen and to the entire fishing community in Mangsee Island that was devastated by the typhoon.
“Speed up search operations for the missing fishermen in Palawan” – PAMALAKAYA to PCG
Manila, Philippines – The activist fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Saturday urged the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) to expedite its search and rescue operations on the 40 fishermen that went missing at the height of tropical storm “vinta” off the Palawan province last weekend.
26 motorized bancas and fishing vessels composed of around 40 fishermen and fishworkers went missing off the rich fishing ground in Mangsee Island in Palawan province as the typhoon “vinta” approached last December 23.
“Authorities must expedite their search and rescue operations to find the missing fishermen and fishworkers for them to spend time with their families in time of the New Year’s Eve. Fishermen were forced to go offshore despite the turbulent weather because if they don’t, their families would starve for days. While the fishworkers employed in commercial fishing fleets have no choice but to work for the big fish operators in order for them to earn enough to have a simple feast during the Yuletide season,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
The group also demands the government to provide aid to the families of the missing fishermen as their incomes are in peril due to the tragic incident.
“While the families are waiting for the return of their loved ones, they deserve a government support in a form of relief because their only source of income has been devastated for days now,” ended Hicap. ###
Suspend the ongoing Balikatan 2016 – Fisherfolk group
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya-Pilipinas) on Thursday calls on the government to suspend the ongoing Balikatan exercises in Panay and Palawan.
The Balikatan exercise is an annual Philippine-US military bilateral training under the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and the recently passed Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) where the US military can station their bases in our country and use our facilities at will.
Pamalakaya maintain that the water-based military drills often result to disruptions on livelihoods of fishers, as every time war games were held in the coastal areas, local governments impose fishing ban to give blanket security to the US troops.
Aquino government spent P500 M for US Naval base in Palawan– fisherfolk group
“This is clear treason against the Filipino people. ” – Pamalakaya
By GERRY ALBERT CORPUZ
MANILA, Philippines- The Aquino administration is spending P500 million ($11.12 million) in taxpayers’ money to upgrade a Philippine Naval Base in Ulugan Bay in Palawan Sea, which will serve as one of the US Marine’s command posts to monitor developments in the hotly-contested West Philippine Sea.
Don’t use fishermen as pawns, collateral damage in Philippine-China dispute – fisherfolk group
“The AFP wants the big brother in Washington DC to come in like a wrecking ball at the West Philippine Sea even if it means the complete surrender of Philippine sovereignty to the US.” – Pamalakaya
By GERRY ALBERT CORPUZ
MANILA – A national federation of small fishermen today accused President Benigno Simeon Aquino III and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) of using small fishermen as political pawns and ready-made collateral damage in its current dispute with China over islands in the West Philippine Sea.