Aid for the families of missing fishermen in Palawan urged
Manila, Philippines – The national fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Wednesday appealed for government relief and support for the families of the fishermen who died and remain missing off the Mangsee island in Palawan due to tropical storm Vinta that hit the province last week.
Citing the report of the local authorities and Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), at least 34 people have been confirmed dead while more than 60 others are still missing. Majority of the missing people and fatalities are fisherfolk.
The fisherfolk group said they are hopeful that the missing fishermen may still be able to locate by the authorities and returned to their families safe. They also urge the PCG to expedite its search and rescue operations for the missing fishermen and other victims.
“We call on the authorities to hasten the search and rescue operations for the missing fishermen and other victims of Vinta in Palawan and as much as possible, must be returned to their respective families safe. It is unfortunate that the fisherfolk are still forced to go offshore despite the turbulent weather conditions because they don’t have alternative source of income in times of natural calamities,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
The group said the national and local government must mobilize its rehabilitation funds to provide assistance to the families of the missing fishermen and to the entire fishing community in Mangsee Island that was devastated by the typhoon.
“The government must also speed up its efforts to rehabilitate the typhoon victims in a form of economic relief and livelihood support to help the fishing families get back in their wheels of production,” added Hicap.
PAMALAKAYA urged the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to check on the ground the exact number of casualties of the typhoon and strictly coordinate with the appropriate government agencies concerned in rehabilitation. ###