Fluvial protest held to demand continuous gov’t services amid lockdown extension
Bacoor City, Cavite – The national fishers group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) held a fluvial parade within the municipal waters of Bacoor City, Cavite on Tuesday, demanding ‘consistent relief and social services for the poor’, as the government has extended until April 30 the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine as a measure to contain the corona virus disease (COVID-19).
At least 5 small fishing bancas sailed along the Manila Bay covering the municipal waters of Bacoor City. The fishermen were calling the government to ‘extensively address’ the public health crisis and its impact to the socio-economic rights of the poor sectors, including fisherfolk.
PAMALAKAYA said that the ‘lockdown does not only interrupt the actual fishing activities of small fishers, but also the post-harvest production including the marketing and distribution of fish due to strict quarantine restrictions’.
“Sa loob ng isang buwan, dalawang beses pa lang kami nakatanggap ng relief mula sa aming lokal na pamahalaan. Hindi tuluy-tuloy at lalong hindi sapat para sa isang buwan ang ipinamamahagi nilang tulong sa mga mahihirap na apektado ang kabuhayan dulot ng lockdown,” Myrna Candinato, Spokesperson of PAMALAKAYA-Cavite said during the fluvial protest.
PAMALAKAYA said that the relief packs being distributed by the Bacoor local government unit (LGU) only contain 1 ½ kilos of rice, 1 canned sardines, and 1 instant noodles each.
In response, the fisherfolk group initiated relief operations drive together with various organizations and individuals to temporarily provide basic needs to the fisherfolk and coastal families who have yet to receive substantial relief aid from the government.
During the fluvial protest, PAMALAKAYA also called for a free mass testing, accessible medical services, and the immediate and unconditional distribution of P8,000 direct cash assistance to poor families.
The fluvial protest coincided with the synchronized protests and actions held in various communities in Metro Manila denouncing the Duterte government’s incompetence in addressing the public health emergency, and consistent failure to mitigate the impacts of the lockdown to the socio-economic rights of the affected population. ###