Thursday, May 30, 2013

Fisherfolk to Senate today

MALOLOS CITY—Hundreds of fisherfolk are set today to hold an early morning fluvial parade on Manila bay and storm the Senate building’s waterfront.

Dubbed as “Bangkaan para sagipin ang pangisdaan,” the fluvia parade will start at 7 o’clock at the C-4 terminal in Navotas City and at the Freedom Island in ParaƱaque, an hour later.

All parade participants will be on at least 40 large boats and will converge in front of the Senate in Pasay City.

This will coincide with today’s celebration of Fisherfolk Day based on of Presidential Proclamation No. 261 signedin 2000 by then President Joseph Ejercito Estrada.

Invited to the activity are Director Asis Perez of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to address concerns on overfishing and reelected Senator Gringo Honasan to address the fisherfolk with regard to the National Land Use and Management Act that is pending in the Senate.

Pablo Rosales of the Save the Fisheries Now Network however said that fisherfolk have nothing to celebrate as they are one of the basic sectors that have remained marginalized.

In a statement, Rosales said that fisherfolk are considered to be the poorest of the poor with 41.4% poverty incidence as cited in the latest National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) report.
 He also said that that the country’s fishing grounds are heavily exploited by commercial as well as foreign fishers like the Taiwanese and Chinese fishing vessels that encroach on Philippine seas.

On the other hand, seaweed farmers, mostly women, are disenfranchised by aggressive coastal real estate development as traditional areas for seaweed and fish drying are converted into private beach resorts, adding that fisherfolk settlements are practically not implemented nor respected.

He said that aside from these concerns, his group will also demand the passage of the National Land Use and Management Act, presently pending at the Senate,a proposed bill that will establish a separate Department of Fisheries, the Marine Protected Area Bill, the End the Reclamation that Destroys Marine Biodiversity bill and a call to end overfishing. Dino Balabo