Bacoor fishers slam Mayor Lani Revilla for preventing fire-victims to return home
Manila, Philippines – The municipal chapter of the fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) in Bacoor, Cavite denounces City Mayor Lani Mercado-Revilla for preventing the fire-affected residents and fishers from returning to their community that was ravaged by a blaze last week.
In June 20, barangays Maliksi I and Maliksi 3 in Bacoor, both fishing communities along the river side, were hit by a fire – 300 houses were heavily destroyed, displacing 500 households.
According to Alyansa ng mga Magdaragat sa Bacoor Cavite Inc. (ALYANSA), PAMALAKAYA’s municipal chapter, there is a standing order from the local government through Mayor Lani Mercado-Revilla to restrict residents from returning to their communities and continue their livelihood. Some of the victims are fisherfolk who rely on Manila Bay as a source of living.
Myrna Candinato, President of ALYANSA, said Mayor Mercado-Revilla offered only P20, 000 to each of the family but without relocation. Candinato pointed out that there is an approved reclamation project in the city to convert its coastal community from productive fishing waters to commercial and mixed-use district. PAMALAKAYA claims the reclamation project will effectively displace almost 7, 000 fishing families and urban poor settlers.
“First of all, we don’t buy the idea that the community was accidentally hit by a blaze. We all know that deliberately burning down communities has been the most inexpensive yet effective tactic of the government to demolish a community that is a target for conversion and development aggression,” Candinato said in a statement.
“Rehabilitate marine resources, not a lecture on territorial boundaries” –
PAMALAKAYA tells Go
Manila, Philippines – The fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) tells the Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go to explore the ocean deep and study the plight of the fisherfolk and the deteriorating condition of municipal waters that force them to go beyond the territorial waters.
Speaking before 31 fisherfolk repatriated from Indonesia after being detained for illegal entry and fishing in their territory, Go said Filipino fishers should be taught with territorial boundaries to avoid arrest.
For its part, PAMALAKAYA said the depleting fish catch in the municipal fishing waters due to intrusion of commercial fishing fleets that exploit marine stocks leaves the Filipino fishers no choice but to venture outside the territorial waters with the risk of getting caught for illegal entry or worst, get into unexpected accidents caused by rough and unfamiliar seas.
“Allow us to explain to Go how the fishing works. The irony is that despite being an archipelagic country, Filipino fishers have to undertake the risks of going to foreign waters because municipal waters are running out of fish stocks courtesy of large-scale commercial fishing fleets that exploit its marine resources. Another main factor of marine degradation is the government’s destructive reclamation projects that kill mangroves, corals, and other fish spawning areas,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
Fisherfolk says no to Bulacan international airport
Manila, Philippines – The national fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) opposes the international airport project in Bulacan that has been approved by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).
With NEDA’s approval, Ramong Ang’s San Miguel Corporation (SMC) is set to build, operate, and maintain the P700-billion international “aerotropolis” which involves an airport covering 1,168 hectares and a city complex to be built at a 2,500-hectare area along Manila Bay in Bulacan, Bulacan.
For its part, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson and former Anakpawis Partylist solon Fernando Hicap said the project will lead to environmental disaster in Manila Bay threatening the livelihood of more than 20,000 fisherfolk in the municipality of Bulacan, Bulacan and other neighboring towns.
“This project will not only destroy marine ecosystem, but also the livelihood of thousands of fisherfolk who subsist by fishing in the rich fishing hub of Manila Bay,” Hicap said, also lambasting President Rodrigo Duterte for selling out fishing waters and coastal communities to foreign investors and giant developers trough his Build, Build, Build (BBB) program.
“President Duterte is on a roll in selling our coastal waters to big-time business magnates; not less than 5 destructive reclamation projects have been approved in Manila Bay since he assumed post as chief executive, all at the expense of socio-economic rights of hundreds of thousands of fisherfolk and coastal settlers,” added Hicap.
“Keep Manila Bay fish safe; oppose destructive projects”, BFAR told
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) backs the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) on its pronouncement that Manila Bay fish are free of bacterial contamination and safe to eat.
In a media forum dubbed as “Tapatan sa Aristrocrat” yesterday, the BFAR claimed that water conditions and quality in Manila Bay remain normal, thus marine products are still safe to eat.
Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson who was also at the media forum, on the other hand challenged BFAR to spearhead the preservation of marine species not only in Manila Bay but in the entire fishing waters of the country by rejecting destructive corporate projects like reclamation, dumping of industrial wastes, and conversion of fishing grounds into commercial use.
“Matagal na naming alam na ligtas kainin ang mga isda sa Manila Bay, may ilan lang na nagsasabing hindi na ito ligtas pero hindi ito napatunayan. Hindi pa rin nawawala ang banta ng tuluyang pagkaubos ng mga isda at pagkasira ng yamang dagat ng Manila Bay dahil sa mga proyektong kumbersyon at reklamasyon na sumisira sa ekolohiya nito,”
“Kaya hinahamon namin ang BFAR na pumosisyon laban sa mga mapanirang proyekto na ito at tiyakin na palagiang ligtas ang mga isda ng Manila Bay at ng iba pang pangisdaan ng bansa para matiyak rin ang seguridad sa pagkain ng mamamayang Pilipino,” Fernando Hicap, who is also a fisherman in Rosario, Cavite said.
Not only in Boracay, luxury beach resorts in Batangas pollute fishing grounds – PAMALAKAYA
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Wednesday wants the government to investigate and at the maximum shutdown private beach resorts in the province of Batangas that were once productive coastal communities of thousands of fishing families and coastal settlers.
PAMALAKAYA said at least 300 hectares of coastal communities in the town of Nasugbu, Batangas have been converted into Hamilo Coast by the SM Group owned by the business tycoon Henry Sy. The group claimed that the beach resorts are affecting the livelihood of more than 1,000 fisherfolk because their traditional fishing grounds have been declared as off limits and marine protected areas. There are three marine protected areas declared within the vicinity of the Hamilo Coast where small fishermen are not allowed to conduct fishing activities.
“Hindi lamang sa Boracay kundi maging dito sa probinsya ng Batangas at sa iba’t-ibang panig ng bansa nagaganap ang paglabag ng mga pribadong beach resort sa karapatan ng mga mangingisda. Sinisira ng mga ito ang natural na ekolohiya ng karagatan na kadalasang nagreresulta sa malawakang fish kill,” Lino Baes, PAMALAKAYA Batangas Spokesperson said in a statement.
The group has been opposing the conversion of fishing waters into private use because it does not only result to massive dislocation of fisherfolk but also poses great disaster and ecological disruption to marine biodiversity.
According to Baes, there are also reports in the town of San Juan, Batangas that private beach resorts have no proper waste disposal facilities causing pollution in the sea.
“Nakakalungkot na kami na ngang mga mangingisda ang inagawan ng tirahan, kami pa ang nagiging tampulan ng sisi sa pagdumi at pagkasira ng karagatan. Gayung malinaw na ang pandarambong ng mga dambuhalang negosyante ang nangungunang dahilan ng pagkawasak ng mga bakawanan na siyang tirahan ng mga isda at pook-pangisdaan na siyang pinagkukunan ng kabuhayan naming mga mangingisda,”
“Nananawagan kami sa pamahalaan na imbestigahan ang lahat ng mga pribadong beach resort sa Batangas at ipatigil na ang lahat ng anyo ng kumbersyon at reklamasyon ng karagatan na sumisira sa yamang dagat at kabuhayan ng mga mangingisdang Pilipino,” added Baes.
Fisherfolk staged “fishing strike” against Navotas reclamation
Manila, Philippines – “We call on to stop the 650-hectare reclamation project in the city of Navotas that will phase-out more than 20,000 fishermen and coastal settlers in the country’s fishing capital,”
This was the call of the Navotas fishermen under the banner of the group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Tuesday at their fluvial protest action in Manila Bay, dubbed as fishing strike against reclamation.
The fisherfolk rode in more than 25 fishing boats while roaming from Barangay Tangos to Navotas Centennial Park where the fences and markers are being installed in preparation to the reclamation project, known as the Navotas Boulevard Business Park (NBBP).
The NBBP is a 650-hectare reclamation project approved by city Mayor John Rey Tianco intended for commercial and mixed use. More than 20,000 Navotas fishermen are expected to be displaced if the project pushes through.
The fisherfolk group likened their fate under the reclamation project to hundreds of thousands of Jeepney drivers if government’s Jeepney phase-out program nationwide will proceed.
“Like our Jeepney drivers who will lose livelihood due to Jeepney phase-out, the Navotas reclamation would effectively phase-out thousands of fisherfolk and urban poor from their livelihood and community in the name of government’s pseudo-development project. Ever since, reclamation projects are far from the interest of the fisherfolk but a detrimental to their livelihood and moreover to the delicate marine environment,”