Presidential aspirant Senator Manny Pacquiao has assured fisherfolks that they will be able to ply their trade freely in the contested West Philippines Sea (WPS) amid the presence of the Chinese vessels there if he wins in the upcoming elections.
In a statement Monday, March 14, Pacquiao said he may possibly deploy members of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in the WPS to ensure safety of the fishermen.
He also aimed to give the fisherfolk “their right to earn a decent living to be able to feed their families”.
Pacquiao made the assurance following his recent dialogue with shellfish catchers and vendors of Barangay Siniguelasan in Bacoor City, Cavite.
“Bumisita tayo dito dahil maraming mga mahihirap na nakatira dito. Kaya doon tayo nagpunta sa kanila, lalong-lalo na iyong mga nagtitinda ng tahong at talaba (We visited her because there are a lot of poor people living here, especially these mussel and oyster vendors),” he said.
“Pagdating ng panahon tutulungan natin sila. May mga bagong kagamitan ngayon, modernong kagamitan para sa pagnenegosyo nila (We will help them in the future. There’s a lot of modern equipment now, which can help them in their business),” he added.
Pacquiao also stressed the need for the government to help in the distribution of modern fishing equipment and additional financial support to them.