Pamalakaya to President: Certify as urgent fishers’ production subsidy bill
MANILA, Philippines — Fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) called upon President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Wednesday to certify as urgent a House bill mandating P15,000 production subsidies for over two million registered fishers across the country.
“Muli kaming nananawagan kay Marcos na sertipikahan na bilang urgent ang House Bill 2024 o ang Production Subsidy Bill sa Kongreso na naglalayong bigyan ng P15,000 subsidyong pamproduksyon ang mahigit dalawang milyong rehistradong mangingisda sa buong bansa,” said Pamalakaya national chairperson Fernando Hicap in a statement.
(We once again call upon Marcos to certify as urgent House Bill 2024 or the Production Subsidy Bill in Congress that aims to give P15,000 production subsidies to over two million registered fisherfolk nationwide.)
This comes as the southwest monsoon or habagat has forced small fishers along Manila Bay to dock their boats for over a week, affecting their livelihoods according to the group.
“Isang linggo nang nakagarahe ang mga bangka ng mga mangingisda sa Manila Bay dahil sa lakas ng alon na dala ng hanging habagat. Bukod sa panganib na dala ng alon, wala ring katiyakan ang mga mangingisda na mababawi ang puhunan dahil sa hina ng huli sa laot,” said Hicap.
(Boats of fishers in Manila Bay have been parked for a week already due to the strong waves brought by the monsoon’s winds. More than the dangers brought by the waves, there is also no guarantee that these fishers will recover their investments due to scarce catches in the sea.)
“Nangangahulugan ito ng isang linggong kagutuman ng mga maliliit na mangingisda at kanilang pamilya na sa pangingisda lamang umaasa,” he added.
(This means a week of hunger for small fishers and their families that depend solely on fishing activities.)
Asserting its call for significant government funding for the country’s fisherfolk, Pamalakaya also reported that one fisher spends approximately P7,000 on 16 days worth of fuel alone.
“Kinakailangang maglaan ang pamahalaan ng signipikanteng pondo na aalalay sa mga mangingisda, tulad ng sapat na fuel subsidy na hindi bababa sa P15,000 kada dalawang buwan,” said Hicap.
(The government must allot significant funding for fisherfolk, such as a fuel subsidy of at least P15,000 every two months.)
“Makakatulong ang subsidyong ito para matiyak na magpapatuloy ang produksyon ng mga mangingisda nang walang pangamba ng pagkalugi,” he went on.
(This subsidy will help ensure that fishers’ production continues without fear of loss.)
Along with peasant advocates, Pamalakaya has also previously asserted that the P15,000 production subsidy is a more sustainable alternative to current government efforts to curb hunger, such as the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) food stamp program.
READ: Groups say DSWD food stamps not enough, livelihood subsidy is better https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1774607/groups-say-dswd-food-stamps-not-enough-livelihood-subsidy-is-better
Pamalakaya said that it is continually monitoring the situation of fellow fishing communities nationwide as the southwest monsoon impacts the country.