PNoy asked to reconsider EO on ‘no dwelling zones’-A A +A
Monday, February 3, 2014
A GROUP of fishermen in Panay and Guimaras are asking President Benigno Aquino III to reconsider his “No Dwelling Zones” order in 40 meters from the shoreline in areas ravaged by Super Typhoon Yolanda.
The group Pamalakaya, through Panay and Guimaras officer Jessica Emperwa, said the government drafted in November 2013 an executive order set to dislocate millions of small-scale fishermen, coconut farmers, and urban poor dwellers within the 40-meter no build zone area which was then expanded into a no dwelling zone.
The executive order was named “Adopting fisherfolk shelter for stewards as national strategy to ensure safe and decent settlement in coastal communities and establishing supporting mechanisms for its implementation” or the FISH Stewards Program.
Emperwa said that, though the EO recognizes low fish catch and low income from fishing attributed to marine and coastal resources degradation, overfishing and illegal fishing, the order is blind to the thousands metric tons of fish catch by huge fishing vessels from other countries fishing in the Philippine waters.
Marginal fishermen are only allowed to catch fish not more than 15 kilometers from the shoreline, but even the area is being fished by poachers using big fishing boats, Emperwa said.
She said that Pamalakaya vowed to oppose the fish EO since this will never benefit them.