Fisherfolk hits proposed power-plant project in Sariaya
Sariaya, Quezon – The municipal chapter of the fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) in Sariaya, Quezon opposes the proposed power plant by the San Miguel Corp. (SMC) which plan to construct along the town’s four coastal barangays, namely, Barangay Guisguis Talon, Guisguis San Roque, Castanas and Talaan Aplaya.
The proposed project has yet to release its details but according to Sariaya Mayor Marcelo Gayeta during a pre-dialogue with the fisherfolk leaders on Monday, he had held a meeting with representatives of SMC regarding the planned power plant after he assumed his post last year.
“Our municipal Mayor has already revealed that SMC plans to construct its power plant in our coastal community at the cost of our right to livelihood and shelter,” Virgilio Sabate, PAMALAKAYA-Sariaya Chairperson said in a statement.
PAMALAKAYA-Saraya said the project would mean to displace more than 15,000 fisherfolk and coastal residents in Sariaya. The fisherfolk group said they have received warning last year that they should vacate their community for their land was already sold to an unidentified businessman.
On Monday, a tension rose when a truck carrying fencing materials suddenly barged into Brgy. San Roque attempting to put up fence along its shoreline but the fisherfolk and residents responded immediately and blocked the truck, forcing the latter to retreat.
“If SMC’s power plant will be pushed through, then we will be ready to put up a fight against this project in the name of protecting our livelihood and productive fishing community,” Sabate said.
PAMALAKAYA slams the continuous conversion of coastal communities that is detrimental to the fisherfolk that has always been the target of displacement and dislocation to pave way for private projects.
“Coastal conversions must stop. This has put the lives of the fishers and other coastal people in peril. Filipino fisherfolk who are the poorest sector in the country should be given the utmost protection on their right to livelihood and shelter,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson concluded. ###