Fishers ask direct cash assistance for sustained production and steady food supply
Manila, Philippines – “While we welcome the exemption of the fishers and farmers from the enhanced community quarantine, we still demand that the fronliners in ensuring a healthy food to the people be given an adequate livelihood subsidy through direct cash assistance,” According to the national fishers group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) on Thursday, after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF) has exempted the farmers and fishermen from the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine.
In a statement sent to media outfits, PAMALAKAYA said that while the exemption was a ‘relief for the food producers, small fishers adversely affected by the lockdown in Luzon need food, medicine, and livelihood subsidies to ensure a constant production’.
The fisherfolk group demanded not less than P10, 000 monthly cash assistance for each fishing families across Luzon, to mitigate the impacts of the lockdown. The direct cash assistance, PAMALAKAYA added, would contribute to the production cost of a small fisher, of which 80% goes to the fuel consumption.
“The direct cash assistance will ensure that aside from the mobility granted to our food producers, there would be enough agricultural and fishery products to travel to. We demand the IATF to come-up with an extensive plan on how to guarantee the sustainability of the agricultural production while securing the food supply in the Metro Manila and other urban centers,” said Hicap.
Lastly, PAMALAKAYA said that the early declaration of a ‘no sail zone’ by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) be ‘formally lifted’ to guarantee that small fishers can continue fishing activities without the fear of being apprehended by the maritime authorities. ###