Pamalakaya mulls diplomatic protest against British government over retrenchment and deportation of 500 RP fishers in UK

Pamalakaya mulls diplomatic protest against British government over retrenchment and deportation of 500 RP fishers in UK

The left-leaning fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Thursday announced they will diplomatic protest against the British government for planning to retrench and deport 500 Filipino fishworkers employed in United Kingdom’s internal fishing fleets.

“This modern-day slavery done to our hardworking Filipino fishworkers is totally unacceptable and unpardonable. We will take this campaign before the international community,” Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said in a press statement.

Pamalakaya, a member of the World Forum of Fisher People (WFFP), the biggest global assembly of activist fisherfolk organizations across-the-globe, will also write its mother federation to take up the campaign for the 500 Filipino fishworkers now facing retrenchment and eventual deportation in the United Kingdom.

Hicap lamented that the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is not taking any action on the issue, and it took a member of the British Parliament to take the cudgels for the embattled Filipino fishworkers.

The Pamalakaya leader was referring to Scottish lawmaker MP Angus Mcneil, member of the British parliament who echoed concerns about the catastrophic impact of retrenching and deporting 500 Filipino fishworkers since more than two-thirds of the fishing boats in Western Isles are manned by them.

“Filipino fishworkers are exploited and abused in foreign countries, but Secretary Alberto Romulo and this government are just after their hard-earned remittances, and they don’t care if our hardworking fishermen are retrenched and deported as long as they have remitted their last Euro earnings to the Arroyo government,” added Hicap.

MP Mcneil said the retrenchment and deportation of 500 Filipino fishworkers will affect fishing boat owners in the Western Isles because they rely mainly on Filipino crew who were highly skilled and have completed all the necessary training courses.

Mcneil was also reported of seeking a meeting with officials responsible for borders and immigration to propose that the Filipino fishworkers be given temporary working permits. The Scottish Fishermen’s Association is also working to appeal the Boarders Agency regulation. The UK Boarders Agency had earlier ruled that all vessels working within a 12-mile limit of the British coast cannot employ non-European Union nationals without valid work visas. #

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