LIMAY, Bataan — Last Friday, September 27, was the last day of the week-long Global Climate Strike event that launched protests against fossil fuel-based energies.
In Barangay Lamao of this industrial town, fishers belonging to Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Mangigisda ng Lamao (PINSAMALA)- PANGISDA-Bataan together with members of Coal-Free Bataan Movement (CFBM) rode their fishing boats and paddled on to their former fishing grounds in front of SMC and Petron huge industrial facilities in Brgy. Lamao, Limay.
Carrying messages that say “Coal destroys our source of food and livelihood”, and “Climate Justice Now”, in large streamers, the fishers demanded to stop the water and air pollution and destruction of marine resources that continuously been destroyed due to coal plan’s and oil refinery’s operation in Barangay Lamao, Limay.
“The corporation has a right to do business, but not at the expense of our right to live”, Daisy Pedranza, Coal-Free Bataan Movement, lamented.
This fluvial protest is also the fishers’ contribution to the week-long climate strikes that happened around the world.
The fisher folks protested in front of SMC Coal Plant and Petron Refinery where they do their fishing activities before the pier was constructed.
“Mula nuong itinayo ang SMC Coal Pier at Pier ng Petron, binabawalan na nila kaming mangisda dito. Kawawa naman yung mga maninisid at walang bangkang de motor na kagaya ko, dahil inagawan nila kami ng karapatan sa aming lugar-pangisdaan,” Fred dela Cruz told newsmen.
According to him, since its construction, these areas were restricted to any fishing activities thus sending the local fishers away farther in order to fish.
The said protest was participated by 11 fishing boats with 40 local fishers and members of community in Lamao and lasted for an hour. This was the fishers way to express the message for companies and the government to stop polluting our seas and destroying the only source of livelihood.
“We are here to show to our government and to the corporations that we will fight to reclaim our right to livelihood”, dela Cruz emphasized.
Fossil fuel energy consumption in the Philippines was reported at 61.99 % in 2014 data. According to the World Bank collection of development indicators, compiled from officially recognized sources. Fossil fuel comprises coal, oil, petroleum, and natural gas products.
In a published report, the country’s current energy mix highly favors fossil fuels, with coal, natural gas, and oil, accounting for 73.56% of the country’s total electrical energy needs, primarily due to their low cost. The Philippines most heavily used energy source is coal.