Fishers demand direct cash subsidy amid renewed and extended ECQ

Manila, Philippines – As the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) has been extended in the National Capital Region (NCR)+ for another week, a group of small fisherfolks is demanding “direct support in a form of economic aid and livelihood subsidy” for small-scale fisherfolks to ensure constant fishing production and food security in the areas under quarantine.

In a statement, the Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) said that the direct cash assistance for every fishing families in ECQ-areas would contribute to the production cost of a small fisherfolk, of which 80% goes to the fuel consumption alone.

“We assert by rights a government support in a form of economic aid and livelihood subsidy. It should not be less than P10, 000 for each of the poor fishing family who is reeling from the devastating impacts of the pandemic and the strict quarantine,” Bobby Roldan, PAMALAKAYA Vice Chair for Luzon said in a statement.

Roldan said a same restrictive quarantine that was implemented last year would be “unacceptable without sufficient subsidy, and moreover, scientific and medical solutions”.

“ECQ should be the last resort, not the first step. Moreover, strict quarantine, subsidy rollout, massive testing and systematic contact tracing and isolation should be integrated with each other and regarded as inseparable measures to effectively contain the spread of the virus,” added Roldan.

“Without scientific and medical solutions, this another restrictive quarantine under the very same implementers with unvarying routine is doomed to fail over again,” ended Roldan. ###

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