On World Fisheries Day, Filipino fishermen underscore effects of reclamation

In time for the observance of World Fisheries Day, a Filipino fisherfolk group denounced the “continued reclamation projects” in the Philippines.

Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Monday, Nov. 21, held a kinetic protest at the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to demand the revocation of 21 environmental compliance certificates (ECC) in Manila Bay.

A fisherman in Cavite (Manila Bulletin File Photo)

For the fisherfolk group, reclamation projects cause the displacement of fisherfolk and “destruction of marine resources.”

“Nasisira ang yamang-dagat habang pwersahang pinapalayas ang mga mangingisda para sa reklamasyon. Kasunod nito ang pagbagsak ng supply ng isda sa pamilihan na ginagawang dahilan ng pamahalaan para mag-angkat (Marine resources are being destroyed as fishermen are forcibly displaced due to reclamation. This is followed by the fall in the supply of fish in the market, which is used as an excuse by the government to import),” said Pamalakaya National Spokesperson Ronnel Arambulo.

“Destruction of marine biodiversity for reclamation projects should be a non-negotiable for the DENR, especially under its current leadership who’s been known to have expertise on climate resilience and disaster risk reduction,” Arambulo added.

Earlier, the group disclosed that 187 projects were detected across the country, 30 of which were located in Manila Bay.

Instead of reclamation, Pamalakaya suggested the conduct of “actual rehabilitation and restoration” of the country’s marine biodiversity.