DA urged to ‘directly buy agri-fishery produce’ to fishers, farmers
Manila, Philippines – The national fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) is calling on the Department of Agriculture (DA) to ‘directly procure’ agricultural and fishery products from small fishers and farmers ‘since they are unable to transport and distribute their products due to strict quarantine rules and transport limitation.’
“Small fish dealers can’t transport their products to the fish ports located in Metro Manila since the enhanced community quarantine was implemented. Aside from the quarantine permit and accreditation that they have to acquire from their respective barangays, their next issue is how to travel the products, since mass transport is prohibited during the lockdown,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson said in a statement.
PAMALAKAYA earlier commended the initiative of the local government unit (LGU) of Casiguran town in Sorsogon province for directly buying fishery products from its fishermen and reselling it to its residents at a lower price.
The fisherfolk group said the national government, through the DA, must adopt such measure to ‘ensure constant fishing production and food supply while undertaking preventive measures against the pandemic coronavirus disease 2019 (CoViD-19).’
PAMALAKAYA urged the DA to ‘source from small fishers and farmers their products being sold at Kadiwa on Wheels’, a mobile market initiated by the agriculture department.
“In these trying times that our own frontliners for food security and poor Filipino families are struggling to make ends meet, the government is morally and politically obliged to ensure that the wheels of production is running and there is sufficient and affordable food supply. Like health workers who are in the frontline of combating the epidemic, food producers who are providing nutritious foods in our tables should not be neglected of basic social services,” ended Hicap. ###