Fishers assail ‘no sail zone’ policy in Manila Bay; asserts to exempt goods in the lockdown
Manila, Philippines — The national fishers group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) on Saturday lambasted the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) for proposing a ‘no sail zone’ policy in the entire Manila Bay as part of the total lockdown in National Capital Region (NCR).
“We condemn the proposal of a no-sail zone in Manila Bay, as it would adversely impact the livelihood of thousands of our fisherfolk. How would they make ends meet if the government will prevent them from their only source of livelihood?” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson and a resident fisherman in Rosario, Cavite said in a statement.
The fisherfolk group asserted that ‘fishing activities have nothing to do with the preemptive measure being undertaken by the government’.
“Fishing could be considered as one of the most isolated economic activities as it does not involve a mass gathering nor create a huge crowd. Thus, we find ridiculous and highly absurd the logic of the government in implicating the fishing activity in their supposed preventive measure against the virus. It is irrational, undemocratic, and suppressive of the people’s right to livelihood,” added Hicap.
Lastly, PAMALAKAYA said the ‘no sail zone’ policy is contradictory to the announced exemption of goods and basic commodities.
“Preventing the fisherfolk from fishing and transporting their products in Metro Manila would basically create instability both on market prices and supply. We demand the government to scrap the proposed no sail zone in the name of the socio-economic rights of the fisherfolk, and food security of the Metro Manila populace,” ended Hicap. ###