Fisherfolk group wants ‘no-sail zone’ scrapped in Zambales amid war games
SAN ANTONIO, Zambales — The progressive fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Thursday (April 20) urged the government to “abort” the three-day “no-sail zone” in this province, which is hosting the joint military training between the Philippines and the United States.
Several coastal towns in the province will be covered by the no-sail zone from April 25 to 27 to pave the way for the ongoing Balikatan exercises that began on April 11.
“We demand that the three-day ‘no-sail zone’ in Zambales be aborted for it will certainly affect the livelihood of small fishers from at least five coastal towns where the war games are being held,” said Bobby Roldan, Pamalakaya vice chair for Luzon, in a statement.
According to Roldan, fishermen should not be prevented from going offshore, especially in this time of peak fishing season.
“No amount of aid pledged by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) can equate to the immediate impact of a day without fishing for the fishers and their dependent families,” he said.
Pamalakaya maintained that the U.S. military exercises “won’t bring any good to national security, but will instead pose a threat due to their provocative nature.”
“The government should prioritize the welfare of our small fisherfolk and their families over these unnecessary and provocative military exercises, which do not contribute to our national security,” added Roldan. INQ