Manila— Fishermen from various towns surrounding Manila Bay, led by Progresibong Alyansa ng mga Mangingisda or PANGISDA marked Fisherfolk Day with a fluvial parade. The parade which traversed the length of Manila Bay from Navotas, Las Piñas,Parañaque, Baseco to Philippine Senate aims to highlight the current plight of fishers.
More than forty fishing boats and 400 participants joined the early morning fluvial parade/protest.
The group called on the Aquino administration to act promptly to save the livelihood of fishers and their families which are put at risk by the Manila Bay Reclamation Project and indiscriminate fishing done at bay areas.
According to PANGISDA, the Parañaque-Las Piñas Coastal Bay phase of the Manila Bay Reclamation Project will cover 414 hectares in Las Piñas and more than two hundred hectares in Parañaque and is expected to displace scores of fisherfolks and their families.
With the area cleared of fishers and the bay area reclaimed, high end residential, commercial, a golf course and even a casino would be put in their place. Residents of the area fear that floods will worsen once the bay area is reclaimed.
PANGISDA Chairperson Pablo Rosales pointed out that fisheries is an important component of agriculture, it is second to palay in accounting for growth in the agriculture sector. Unfortunately, rather than focusing on small or artisanal fishers, the focus is on large scale commercial fishing, which in turn adversely affects common fishing grounds, including bay areas which suffer from over-fishing.
Rosales further pointed out that though their economic contribution is vital, small fishers are one of the poorest sections of society, with four out of ten fishermen considered ‘poorest of the poor’.
“We call on the Aquino government to prioritize small fishers starting with putting a stop to destructive projects like Manila Bay Reclamation,” ended Rosales.
The group later converged with members of Save the Fisheries Now Network in a short program at the Senate Parking Lot.
May 31, 2013
Reference: Vicente Madriñan (Chairperson PANGISDA Parañaque-Las Pinas) @ 09227689433
Pablo Rosales (Chairperson PANGISDA National) @ 09322862093
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