September 7, 2021
The Council for People’s Development and Governance (CPDG) stands in solidarity with the fisherfolk and mussel farmers of Cavite in opposing the demolition threat of their fishing, aquaculture, and mussel-growing structures in their communities.
“The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is willing to sacrifice the livelihood of thousands of fisherfolk and mussel farmers on the pretext of disaster risk reduction. This is yet another move that truly shows the utter disregard of the government in people’s lives and welfare,” CPDG spokerson Liza Maza asserted.
DENR justifies the demolition in the guise of regulating “illegal fishing structures” and cites the “pollution” made by bamboo poles and aquaculture implements that washed ashore in Manila Bay after the heavy monsoons. This, however, is refuted by fisherfolk organizations.
“Why make a fuss on the bamboo poles washed along the shore when in the first place, these are not pollutants that can cause damage to the marine ecosystem unlike plastic and other solid wastes? It’s common sense that disposed bamboos will naturally submerge in water and eventually decompose,” Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) National Chairperson Fernando Hicap said in a statement dated August 26, 2021.
The demolition threat only echoes the real objective of the government’s sham food security program. Last May 2021, in the National Food Security Summit led by the Department of Agriculture, government planners argued that hiding behind protectionism will not bring food self-sufficiency or security as it hinders economic opportunities with both local and foreign private investors. Thus, pushing for more neoliberal reforms to “boost” the food supply and modernize production.
“The Duterte administration seems to be in a haste in implementing its neoliberal programs before the coming elections. Considering that they are promoting the reclamation of Manila Bay and its tributaries to give way to foreign corporate interests, the demolition of fisherfolk communities in the coastal areas of Noveleta, Kawit, Bacoor, and Cavite City in Cavite seems to serve the same objective. We should not allow any move of the administration and its agencies to inflict more damage in people’s lives especially amid the crisis of a pandemic and its dismal COVID-19 response riddled with possible corruption,” Maza ended. #