As government obstructs relief efforts
Fishers group demands urgent social amelioration for more than 20,000 fisherfolk in Cavite
Rosario, Cavite – As the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Reforms (BFAR) denied knowledge of the purpose of the food pass applied for by the Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya), the group is now demanding for the urgent social amelioration for more than 20,000 fisherfolk in Cavite province, based on the the pronouncement of Department of Agriculture Secretary William Dar last month.
Last March 25, Dar said that his agency will allot P3 billion for assistance to farmers, fishers and farm workers, separate from the aid coming from the Department of Social Welfare and Devleopment (DSWD) and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). Pamalakaya is part of the Tulong Anakpawis and Sagip Kanayunan relief efforts, thus, the food pass issued by BFAR was basically used for transporting vegetable products from Norzagaray town in Bulacan to Bacoor City, Cavite.
“Pinipigilan nila kami sa mga relief activities namin sa mga fishing communities sa Bacoor at katabing bayan nito, kaya pinapanawagan na namin na ibigay na agad yung mga pinapangako nila. Alam na nga naming mabagal ang pagbibigay ng ayuda ng gubyerno, kaya nga nagsikap kaming humingi ng tulong sa iba’t ibang sektor para sa mga maralitang mangingisda, pero ngayong hinaharang nila kami, dapat na nilang gawin ang mga obligasyon nila,” Fernando Hicap, Pamalakaya National Chairperson and former representative for Anakpawis Party-list.
The provincial agricultural office reported that there are more than 20,000 municipal fishermen and more than 2,000 workers of commercial fishing in the province. Bacoor City has more than 3,300 municipal fishermen, Rosario town with the most at more than 4,300, Naic with 3,800, Cavite City with near 2,000 and Kawit with more than 1,000. Most fish workers are from Rosario, Tanza and Naic.
BFAR earlier issued a statement denying that the food pass it issued was not intended for relief efforts, amid the clarity of the application form submitted by Pamalakaya, stating “relief mission” for the “Nature of Business.”
“Ang mahirap kay Pangulong Duterte ay pinipigilan niya ang mga nais tumulong sa kapwa, habang lantad na lantad na at danas ng napakarami na napakabagal nitong kumilos pagdating sa serbisyo. Mismong gubyerno ang sumasabotahe sa diwa ng bayanihan, dahil sa misyon nitong atakehin ang mga aktibista at progresibo. Walang lugar sa kalagayan ngayon ng pandemya ang pasismo, dapat ang pairalin nila ay pagiging makatao at makabayan,” Hicap ended. ###