On World Fisheries Day, group protests reclamation projects in Manila Bay
MANILA, Philippines – A fisherfolk group on Tuesday held a protest at the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) office in Quezon City, denouncing the “irreversible activities” around the coastal areas of Manila Bay.
The protest coincided with the celebration of the World Fisheries Day on November 21.
Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) National President Pando Hicap said that his group is urging the newly appointed DA Chief, Francisco Tiu-Laurel Jr., to condemn reclamation activities in Manila Bay.
Hicap added that as DA chief, Laurel must show his support for the fisherfolk suffering from livelihood losses caused by dump-and-fill operations in the area.
“Patuloy pa rin po ang aming panawagan at pag-amo kay Secretary Francisco Laurel na kung talaga ngang siya ay tunay na lingkod-bayan at DA Secretary, ay i-announce niya mismo na kinukundena niya ang anumang irreversible na mga aktibidad sa pangisdaan natin tulad ng dredging at reclamation,” he said in a phone interview with INQUIRER.net.
(We urge Secretary Francisco Laurel that if he truly is a public servant and the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, he should personally announce his condemnation of any irreversible activities in our fisheries, such as dredging and reclamation.)
“Malaki kasi itong parte sa pagkasira ng ecosystem natin at irreversible ang impact nito sa mga pangisdaan at sa kabuhayan ng mga mangingisda natin sa mga area na ito,” Hicap continued.
(This [dredging] is a significant part of the destruction of our ecosystem, and its impact on fisheries and the livelihood of our fishermen in these areas is irreversible.)
The protest was “relatively successful,” the Pamalakaya president said, adding that they were joined by environmental defenders belonging to various groups.
In a statement on Monday, Pamalakaya said that despite the suspension of all reclamation projects in Manila Bay, dredging activities intended for reclamation persisted in the coastal areas of Cavite.
Pamalakaya said it continues to receive reports of sightings of dredging vessels conducting seabed quarrying in Cavite.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in July issued a suspending order on all reclamation activities in Manila Bay.