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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Fisherfolk group expressed reservations in the proposed ‘Fisheries Department’, might say ‘yes’ only if..

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Fisherfolk group expressed reservations in the proposed ‘Fisheries Department’,BFARlogo1.png
might say ‘yes’ only if..

Manila, Philippines – The fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya-Pilipinas) on Thursday raised its reservations and recommendations on the proposed Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DFAR) filed in the Senate.

The Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, jointly with the Committees on Civil Service, Government Reorganization and Professional Regularization and Finance will conduct a Public Hearing on the proposed DFAR today. The Senate Bills to be considered were filed by three senators including the S.B. No. 51 authored by Sen. Pangilinan, S.B. No. 242 authored by Sen. Legarda and S.B. No. 397 authored by Sen. Hontiveros.

According to the position paper submitted by Pamalakaya on Senate’s Committee on Agriculture and Food, they welcome the initiative to transform the Bureau of Fisheries into Department but it should simultaneously transform its laws, policies and programs affecting the fisheries sector as well.

The fisherfolk group said as long as the old fisheries laws and programs that do not benefit the fisherfolk are in the picture, this proposed agency would remain inutile and incompetent in addressing the plight of the impoverished fisherfolk and backward fishing industry in the country.

As long as the 18-year old Fisheries Code of 1998 and its amendments are implemented, the fisherfolk sector won’t liberate from the shackles of poverty, even if there is this department that will focus on the sector,” Fernando Hicap, Pamalakaya Chairperson said.

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COP21’s blue carbon trades are not climate mitigation mechanisms but privatization Trojan horse – fisherfolk group

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COP21’s blue carbon trades are not climate mitigation mechanisms but privatization Trojan horse – fisherfolk group

Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya-Pilipinas) reject the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21)’s blue carbon investments, saying this will not mitigate the climate change, but rather, it is just another face of foreign plunder to the marine resources.

The COP21 will be held from November 30 to December 11 in Paris which will be attended by state leaders including President Aquino.

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From fishing waters to the streets; a wave of protest have swept the streets on the occasion of the World Fisheries Day

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November 21, 2014

Manila, Philippines – Fisherfolk organizations from various parts of the country staged a nationally coordinated protest in different forms to observe World Fisheries Day. The protest was led by the left-leaning fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas). In Metro Manila, fisherfolk from Southern Tagalog and the National Capital Region, and other marginalized sectors gathered together in Mendiola, Manila.

Being the poorest of the poor in Philippine society, the fisherfolk clamored against widespread privatization, conversion and reclamation of fishing waters under the Aquino administration which causes massive displacement of coastal communities and the worsening hunger and poverty among the fisherfolk.

“Anti-people projects such as eco-tourism and eco-zone projects funded by foreign capital promote destruction of fisheries resources and violate the rights of small fisherfolk all over the country,” stated PAMALAKAYA Secretary General Romy Antazo.

The PAMALAKAYA official also pointed that the long-running Fisheries Code of 1998 failed to protect the rights and uplift the lives of small fisherfolk and the marine and inland environment from destruction by corporate interests.

“This Fisheries Code of 1998 does not eradicate poverty, hunger and dispossession of the almost 1.3 million poor fishermen in the country. It only worsened the plight of small fisherfolk 16 years since the law was enacted,” Antazo said.

According to PAMALAKAYA’s Batangas chapter Haligi ng Batanguenong Anakdagat (HABAGAT), under the Fisheries Code of 1998, many fishing areas in Batangas were declared as fish sanctuaries by the local government. These sanctuaries became main attractions of beach resorts while the fisherfolk are banned from going near these sanctuaries.

“The fisherfolk are being deprived of their only source of livelihood and much worse, they are displaced from their communities to give way to these eco-tourism projects. The Fisheries Code does not only kill fisherfolks’ livelihoods but also their lives in general,” Antazo said.

The group cited several projects that are highly inimical to small-scale fisheries including the Laguna Lake Master Plan which aims to convert Laguna Lake from productive fishing grounds into eco-tourism zones; the Manila Bay Master Development Plan that involves the privatization and reclamation of the bay; the widespread black sand mining in Cagayan Valley, Zambales, Eastern Visayas, Negros and Panay island; and the eco-tourism projects in Aurora and other parts of the archipelago.

“All these projects are under Aquino’s Public-Private Partnership (PPP) which will displace poor fisherfolk from their communities. We, the small fisherfolk gathered together on this day, the World Fisheries Day, not to celebrate, but to rage against the present administration due to its incompetence and anti-people policies and demand genuine reforms on fisheries and aquatic resources.” Antazo ended. ###