Fishers group wants deliveries of fishery goods spared from the lockdown

To stabilize fish supply and prices, fishers group wants deliveries of fishery goods spared from the lockdown

Manila, Philippines — “We demand the government to spare the fisheries and marine goods from the lockdown to stabilize the supply and prices in the market, as well as to sustain the wheels of production of our fishers especially those from Southern and Central Luzon who have been supplying fish in the Metro Manila,” This was according to the national fishers’ group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) on Wednesday, as price of fish in Metro Manila markets have skyrocketed after the government placed the entire island of Luzon in an ‘enhanced community quarantine’ in response to the spread of the corona virus disease (COVID-19).

PAMALAKAYA cited the price of galunggong (roundscad), as an example, which the fisherfolk group said has “soared from P100/kilogram to P200 – P240/kilogram all time high”.

The fisherfolk group stated that its members in Cavite and Central Luzon have reported that fish vendors and dealers were barred from delivering their fish products in Metro Manila.

“This is the sum of all our fears; the government arbitrarily declared an absolute lockdown sans consideration and preparation for its social and economic implications. The government’s thrust in addressing the public health crisis generates another problem rather than solution,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson said in a statement.

The fisherfolk group reiterated its “strong objection” to the “militaristic approach” of the government in preventing the spread of the virus.

“Again, this is not a problem of peace and order, but a matter of public health. The last thing we want to see in these trying times are the tiger-looking armed soldiers and policemen who are only capable of intimidation, but ignorant to health safety,”

“We demand that the government mobilize its funds to public health services, and strengthen the capacity of every local government unit to prevent vulnerability of its citizens from acquiring any disease. In immediate, affected workers should be assured that they would be compensated adequately for daily subsistence to mitigate the impacts of the lockdown,” ended Hicap. ###

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