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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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Cordova reclamation to displace 2,000 fisherfolk – fisherfolk group

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Cordova reclamation to displace 2,000 fisherfolk – fisherfolk group

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Fisheman from Cebu protested the ongoing reclamation project in their coastal community

CEBU CITY, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Monday warned President Rodrigo Duterte and the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) on the implications of the reclamation project in Cordova, Cebu which will cover about 1,500 hectares of coastal waters in the 3rd class municipality in the province.

The reclamation project, which costs P138-B as proposed by Herny Sy-owned SM Prime Holdings Inc. is supposed to start next year and would be completed for 8 years. But due to technicalities, the project faces snag during then-President Benigno Aquino as it doesn’t comply with the process set by the PRA. But the SM Prime Holdings said it will push through the reclamation project under the new administration. It was also one of the biggest Public-Private Partnership (PPP) projects under then-President Aquino, a privatization scheme also adopted by President Rodrigo Duterte.

49% of the reclaimed land will go to SM Prime Holdings while the remaining 50% will be for the municipality of Cordova and the PRA.

Under the current administration, the project has no budget allocation but it is still one of the PPP’s pending projects, including the Laguna Lake Expressway Dike Project (LLEDP) and other reclamation projects that were temporarily terminated last administration.

The fisherfolk group said that the reclamation project will eject 2,000 fisherfolk families from Cordova which rely on the fishing ground that is a target for reclamation.

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NEDA Chief’s planned-sabotage vs. LUC moratorium hit

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NEDA Chief’s planned-sabotage vs. LUC moratorium hit

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NEDA Director General Ernesto Pernia | Photo by http://www.gmanetwork.com

Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Monday assailed the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Director General Ernesto Pernia for opposing the two-year moratorium on land-use conversion (LUC).

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has earlier issued an unprecedented moratorium on LUC that prohibits transforming agricultural lands into tourism and private infrastructure purposes for two years. But the NEDA and its so called ‘economic team’, through its Director General opposes the decision for according to them, this will be the ‘cause of delay of government’s infrastructure projects and would give no room to investors’.

DAR’s moratorium on land-use conversion is the first time in our history and considered as initial victory to the long-peasant’s struggle. This will spare the farmers and fisherfolk from rampant eviction from their communities in exchange for eco-tourism projects yet the NEDA wants to impede this road towards a genuine land reform that will benefit our farmers and fishers. NEDA’s stand against LUC-moratorium is anti-people with tantamount to willful betrayal among the Filipino peasantry,” Fernando Hicap, Pamalakaya Chairperson said in a statement.

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Fishers and lake residents score victory with the termination of the Laguna lake road dike

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Fishers and lake residents score victory with the termination of the Laguna lake road dike

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Pamalakaya and SLLM stormed the DPWH office during the supposed LLEDP bidding

 

Manila, Philippines – “This is victory to the fishers and people who tirelessly fought to stop this
disastrous project!”

This was the statement of the fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya-Pilipinas) and the broad alliance Save Laguna Lake Movement (SLLM) with the failure of qualified bidders to submit their bids on the Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike Project (LLEDP) and the subsequent announcement of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to terminate the project.

According to the DPWH, it is not realistic to once again postpone the bidding, but said they are still open for another round of qualifying and bidding until the next Administration is installed.

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#Kalbaryo2016 | Fisherfolk agonize in extreme poverty

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#Kalbaryo2016 | Fisherfolk agonize in extreme poverty

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a fisherman burdening a cross during the Kalbaryo ng Anakpawis protest

Manila, Philippines – The fisherfolk on a daily basis are crucified and crowned with thorns. This is the sentiment of the militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya-Pilipinas) on the occasion of the Lenten season.

By government account, two out of five fisherfolk are gravely suffering from unconscionable poverty and hunger where eating three times a day is a luxury. This is amidst the archipelago’s abundant marine resources.

Pamalakaya swipes at the Aquino government for the fishers’ misfortunes and miseries. The Aquino administration is the perfect paragon of the cross weighing upon the small fisherfolk and the crown of thorns are the  laws and programs imposed that negatively affect the fishers and poor people.

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Fisherfolk to delay of Laguna Dike bidding: make it permanent!

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Fisherfolk to delay of Laguna Dike bidding: make it permanent!

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Fisherfolk trooped to DPWH to sabotage the LLEDP bidding ceremony

Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakasng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya-Pilipinas) on Wednesday hails the delay of the bidding for the Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike Project (LLEDP) and calls for its permanent dislocation altogether.

The LLEDP’s final submission of bids was moved, set to be done on March 14; it was for moved to March 28 due to the bidders’ ‘concerns’. Fisherfolk from Pamalakaya and members of the broad alliance Save Laguna Lake Movement (SLLM) stormed the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to sabotage the bidding process last Monday.

This ‘delay’ is a result of the immense resistance of the fisherfolk and the residents against this project. We vow not to stop our actions and protest against this LLEDP until it’s completely and permanently dislocated. We’ll just keep intensifying their ‘concerns’ until we win.” Salvador France, Pamalakaya Vice-Chairperson said in a statement.

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Fishers and residents along Laguna Lake stormed the LLEDP bidding

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Fishers and residents along Laguna Lake stormed the LLEDP bidding

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Pamalakaya and SLLM stormed the LLEDP bidding ceremony held at the DPWH

Manila, Philippines – Hundreds of fisherfolk under the group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya-Pilipinas) together with the broad alliance Save Laguna Lake Movement (SLLM) staged a roving protest in front of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) during the bidding ceremony of the Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike Project (LLEDP)  today.

The LLEDP which has two components – a 47-kilometer expressway dike from Muntinlupa, Taguig to Los Banos, Laguna; and 700-hectare reclamation for commercial and mixed use – is one of President Aquino’s biggest projects under Public-Private Partnership (PPP), amounting to P122.8B.

During the protest, fisherfolk dumped bunches  of waterlilies at the gate of the DPWH, as a symbol of the huge menace that the LLEDP will pose to the fishers and poor residents living around the lake.

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