Navotas fisherfolk object to the dismantling of their clam pens and crab traps

This article is available in Pilipino

Fisherfolk belonging to the Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) staged a protest rally along on the Navotas City coast on March 15 to oppose the local government’s order to dismantle their clam pens and crab traps to make way for the Navotas Bay Reclamation Project. The 650-hectare reclamation is being pushed by the local government and its partner Argonbay Construction Company, a subsidiary of San Miguel Corporation owned by Ramon Ang.

Since 2022, the Navotas local government has repeatedly ordered the removal of 200 fishing piers and other structures along the coast. At least 1,000 fisherfolk, mussel raisers and fishery workers are affected. The local government also no longer accepts applications for new permits to operate.

According to Pamalakaya, the latest order will definitely affect more fisherfolk and their families who depend on it for their livelihood. Since the reclamation of their coast began last year, their daily income from fishing has dropped by 80%.

The protesting fishermen also condemned continuous reclamation operations in the area, which they said were secretly being carried out every night. This 650-hectare reclamation is one of only 22 reclamation projects approved in Manila Bay. According to data from the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) in 2023, there are 187 existing and approved reclamation projects nationwide.

“What fisherfolks need is real rehabilitation that will bring back the former vitality of Manila Bay, not projects that will destroy the livelihood of thousands of fisherfolk and the environment,” said Ka Fernando Hicap, Pamalakaya national chairperson.

AB: Navotas fisherfolk object to the dismantling of their clam pens and crab traps