Subsidy for seaweed farmers in Palawan sought

Subsidy for seaweed farmers in Palawan sought

Seaweed farmers in Coron, Palawan face bankruptcies as their seaweed harvests were unsold.
Seaweed farm in Coron, Palawan.

Manila, Philippines — Fisherfolks and indigenous people who are farming seaweeds in Coron, Palawan are appealing for government support through livelihood subsidy and economic aid, amid the socio-economic impacts of the community quarantine caused by the pandemic corona virus disease (COVID-19).

In a statement on Sunday, the national fishers group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) said that the seaweed farmers’ local cooperative has reached out to the group through social media asking for help, as their livelihood has been severely affected since the entire Luzon was placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in March 16.

“Nasisira na lang ang mga produkto nilang seaweeds dahil sa kawalan ng buyer na nanggagaling pa sa mainland. Dahil sa mga checkpoint at mahigpit na quarantine restrictions, hindi nakakatawid sa isla ng Calamianes ang mga buyer kung saan nila kinukuha ang seaweeds. Walang tulong ng lokal na pamahalaan kaya napilitan silang lumapit sa pambansang organisasyon ng mga mangingisda para maipaabot sa mga kinauukulan ang kalagayan nila,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson said in a statement.

The fisherfolk group said that the indigenous peoples and fisherfolks in the island only rely in seaweed farming.

“Nananawagan kami sa gobyerno na mabigyan ng sapat na tulong ang mga mangingisdang ito sa Palawan. Higit pa, kailangang maging malawakan at sistematiko ang tulong na ibinibigay ng pamahalaan sa pamamagitan ng Department of Agriculture (DA) sa lahat ng sektor na nasa agrikultura. Ito ay para matiyak na sapat pa rin ang supply ng pagkain at takbo ng produksyon sa kabila ng pandemya,” Hicap, former Anakpawis Party-list Representative added.

Lastly, PAMALAKAYA said that the rural people seeking for help “manifests the failure of the DA to aid the agriculture sector amid the huge budget and purported accomplishment reports”.

“Malaki ang sisingilin ng mga magsasaka at mangingisda kay agriculture secretary William Dar dahil sa malinaw na pagpapabaya nito sa aming sektor sa panahon ng lockdown,” ended Hicap. ###

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