State of the Nation Address

Fisherfolk unperturbed with President Duterte’s SONA, slams planned joint exploration with China

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Fisherfolk unperturbed with President Duterte’s SONA, slams planned joint

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PAMALAKAYA Chair Fernando Hicap speaks before the crowd at the People’s State of the Nation

exploration with China

Manila, Philippines — “President Rodrigo Duterte’s state of the nation was filled with hollow and expletive rhetoric, failed to address the plight of the Filipino people,” This was the reaction of the militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on the second State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte yesterday.

The fisherfolk group who mobilized hundreds of its fisherfolk members mainly from Southern Tagalog region assailed President Duterte for not making good on his progressive promises before on the fishing sector, particularly the active assertion of our territorial and sovereign rights in the disputed West Philippine Sea.

PAMALAKAYA rejects the joint exploration with China in the West Philippine Sea that President Duterte announced during the press conference conducted at the House of Representatives after his SONA.

We are dismayed by the softening of President Duterte towards China. We do not want him to exactly do what he promised before on riding a jet ski and stick a Philippine flag in Scarborough Shoal. But everything he promised except making Filipino fisherfolk return to Scarborough Shoal turned into lies,”

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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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Farmers, fishers still hold crown of thorns for being country’s poorest of the poor – PAMALAKAYA

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Farmers, fishers still hold crown of thorns for being country’s poorest of the poor –

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With his traditional fishing boat, a fisherman prepares for another long day at the sea

PAMALAKAYA

Manila, Philippines – The activist fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Wednesday was unsurprised by the recent poverty survey released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) where the fisherfolk ranks as the second poorest sector in the country, as the group claimed that past and present administrations do not actually address the prevailing poverty among the rural sector.

PSA on June 30 released its 2015 Poverty Statistics for Basic Sectors report, where farmers, fishers and children are identified as the sectors with the highest poverty incidence recorded at 34.3%, 34%, and 31.4% poverty rate, consecutively.

For its part, PAMALAKAYA blames the consistent poverty among the fishing sector on the backward, scattered, and monopolized fishing production which is reflective to the current foreign-dictated economic and foreign policies that are detrimental to the Filipino fisherfolk.

The fisherfolk group also lashes out at the government’s incompetence in protecting marine environment and resources from corporate destruction, mainly from reclamation activities and giant commercial fishing fleets that grab the fishing community and marine resources from small-scale fisherfolk.

How unfortunate that despite being agriculture-rich and archipelagic country, the rural sector remains underprivileged and poorest,”

Rampant marine resource grabbing and plunder, conversion of fishing waters into private eco-tourism and beach resorts, and the existing fishing laws that legalize the aforesaid; these are the highlights on why the fishing sector still hold the title of being one of the country’s poorest of the poor. Not to mention the lack of government’s subsidy and support that could uplift the lives of the fishing sector,”

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