Fishers, advocates call for climate justice at UP “protest” fair, laud student council
Manila, Philippines – As the University of the Philippines – Diliman campus holds its annual fair dubbed this year as “Tumindig sa Himig,” the fishers group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya (Pamalakaya) and Climate Change Network for Community-based Initiatives (CCNCI) called for climate justice, the very theme of the day’s “Roots Music Festival.” The groups, at their booth are also holding petition signing against Manila Bay reclamation projects, also for the repeal of the Republic Act 11203 Rice Liberalization Law.
“This is a positive act, for the youth-students to expose themselves on fundamental issues. We have garnered many signatures opposing reclamation projects in Manila Bay. We commend the organizers such as the university student council and other organizations,” said Salvador France in a press statement, Pamalakaya Secretary-General and who also briefly spoke at the stage.
The fishers group said that students who signed on the petition appreciated the campaign of poor fisherfolk of Bacoor City who were manning the booth against the 420-hectare Bacoor Reclamation Project . Also, there are students who are interested on the 2,500-hectare Aerotropolis project in Bulacan. It also announced their “climate strike” on February 24 dubbed as “Ahon Mangingisda” or “Fishers Rise Up against Climate Change,” opposing unabated destruction of marine environment by reclamation, conversion and privatization of bay areas.
Moreover, the advocate group CCNCI said that “climate justice” is an issue of social justice, as basic sectors are the proponents of environmental protection and sustainable production, a total contrast of capitalist exploitation and drstruction of land and marine resources.
Pamalakaya also recognized the efforts of College of Engineering Representative Paul Redillas and EMC² Fraternity who facilitated the group’s entry to the fair.
“This should be emulated by all university and college student councils, for their respective school fair to be a venue for marginalized sectors. More power to the student council, salute to the ‘iskolar ng bayan,'” France ended. ###