March 25, 2012
Senator Francis ‘Kiko’ Pangilinan, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, calls on the Department of Agriculture (DA), through its Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), and local governments to develop support mechanisms for fisherfolk whose incomes are drastically affected by red tide.
Pangilinan makes the call after it was reported that red tide has hit shellfish in Bataan, with toxicity levels in Samal, Bataan hitting 265 micrograms–way beyond the tolerable level of 60 micrograms.It was also reported that some entrepreneurs have attempted to sell shellfish despite the ban, but were caught in a checkpoint.
“Tatamaan talaga niyan ang mga mangingisda at mga nangangalakal ng ganitong paninda. Dahil bawal kumain ng tahong at talaba at bawal ring magbenta, mawawalan sila ng kita. At kung minsan, may mga magpupumilit na magbenta kahit na ito ay bawal it posibleng makamatay dahil iniisip nila ay yung kakainin ng kanilang pamilya sa araw na ‘yon. Kapit sa patalim, kumbaga. Para maiwasan ito, kinakailangan ng mga apektadong mangingisda ng pansamantalang ayuda mula sa pamahalaan, para na rin makaiwas tayo sa sakuna.”
The lawmaker also calls on the private sector to use the country’s aquatic resources “in a more responsible and sustainable manner because when red tide hits, everyone loses, from the fisherfolk and communities all the way to industries that rely our waters for income.”
“Lahat tayo talo sa red tide. Kailangan natin ng sama-samang pagkilos para matugunan ang problemang ito dahil taun-taon itong nangyayari, at hindi naman pwedeng hanggang ngayon ay wala pa rin tayong solusyon dito.”
“This is why we’re calling on the national governmentt, the local governmentts, and the private sector to help us in responding to the issue. As a country dependent on our marine resources, let’s look for creative solutions to ensure that red tide does not claim more lives or sources of livelihood.”
Image Source: Climate News