They were reportedly fined P2,500 ($43) each over a supposed offense that, according to Pamalakaya, the maritime police based in Taguig City was “unable to identify.”
For the fisherfolk of Zambales, this election is an opportunity to be heard of their hardships as the tension in the West Philippine Sea continues. Should these politicians win, they vow to hold them to account and make sure these are campaign jokes no more.
“Importing fish, especially the kind common in the Philippine waters, is akin to importing agricultural staples that could be grown in Philippine soil.”
Despite the ongoing threats of Chinese presence in the West Philippine Sea and the damages faced both by the country’s aquatic resources and the small-time fisherfolk, Pamalakaya said “there is still time to rehabilitate.”
Market Watch | Agri stakeholders urge gov’t to support Filipino farmers amid massive smuggling, importation issues
“The Department of Agriculture never learns. Every time there is an alleged shortage, the default solution is to flood our market with imported fish. Yet this measure never addresses and resolves the crisis in our fisheries production that happens on a yearly basis.”
The fisherfolk themselves fear that they will lose their livelihood. Why is DENR invalidating this concern? Reclaiming the coasts of Cavite to make way for big business will involve not only the demolition of illegal structures but even those owned by licensed owners. Eventually, the fisherfolk will be at the disadvantage.
Pamalakaya said the government is temporarily halting the implementation. The fisherfolk group attributed this to the strong public outcry, as livelihoods and income of thousands of small fisherfolk and coastal residents from Noveleta, Kawit, Cavite City, and Bacoor City are threatened.
“We won’t be fooled by the pretext that reopening our natural resources to large-scale mining would help revive the pandemic-battered economy as it would inflict serious damage than repair.”
“With the law, the Chinese Coast guard are being ordered by Chinese government to shoot at vessels, even small fishing boat, in territories being claimed by China.”
All of the incidents happened in communities directly affected by the Bacoor Reclamation and Development Project, which spans 320-hectares along the Manila Bay coastline. The project is composed of two artificial islands, a road network, drainage system, containment structures, storm surge protection, and access ways.
Local vegetables were from Bulacan farmers who have been decrying the demolition of their farms, particularly in San Jose del Monte area.