The fishers’ group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) is urging four local government units in Cavite to defy the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) order to demolish alleged illegal fishing structures in Manila Bay.
PAMALAKAYA Chairperson Fernando Hicap said on Monday that officials of these coastal towns, which include Bacoor City, Cavite City, Kawit, and Noveleta, should stand with their constituents who will lose their source of livelihood if the dismantling of aqua structures continues.
The fisherfolk’s organization cited the Section 16 of Local Government Code of 1991, which mandated the LGUs to promote the general welfare of their constituents and ensure support, among other things, the preservation and enrichment of culture and enhance the right of the people to a balanced ecology within their respective territorial jurisdiction.
“The local executives in Cavite are morally, politically, and constitutionally obliged to protect the welfare of tens of thousands of fisherfolk who are deemed to lose their source of livelihood courtesy of the national government’s directive against fishing structures in Manila Bay,” Hicap said in a statement.
Furthermore, the group claims that the rehabilitation efforts in Manila Bay will affect at least 15,000 fisherfolk and coastal residents involved in mussel and oyster aquaculture.
The group, moreover, said that it will continue to monitor and protest the demolition order, despite the fact that the DENR has moved the demolition date from September 7 to September 25.
“We will continue to oppose this undertaking in various legal institutions such as the Supreme Court and the Philippine Congress, and through mass actions in the parliament of the streets and in the court of public opinion,” he added.