Tag Archives: Jpepa

Critics ridicule 30 caregiving jobs under Jpepa

Critics ridicule 30 caregiving jobs under Jpepa

The militant fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Sunday said the 30 caregiving jobs allocated by the Japanese government under the controversial Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (Jpepa) makes the country appear like a nation of beggars begging for alms.

“This is all what we got from Jpepa. An employment of 30 caregiving jobs which will require us to pass Japanese roadblocks in flying colors as if they are contestants in Survivor Philippines or Fear Factor Philippine edition,” the militant group laments.

Pamalakaya noted that the first batch of 30 caregiving jobs is part of the total caregiving jobs promised by the Japanese government under the economic and partnership agreement. It said the remaining 370 caregiving jobs, will be decided later, depending on the outcome of the first batch trainees of Filipino caregivers.

“We are being treated like modern day slaves under Jpepa,” the group added.

The Japanese Embassy in Manila reported that some 30 Filipino caregivers are scheduled to leave on September 27 to train in Japan under the Jpepa pact on the movement of natural persons.

Japanese Ambassador Makoto Katsura led the send-off ceremony for the Filipinos bound for caregiver schools in Japan at the HEDC Building in University of the Philippines-Diliman.

“Under the school track scheme, Filipino candidate caregivers will take a two- to four-year school course. All candidates will undergo six-month Japanese language training. Thereafter, they will enroll in caregiver schools in Japan and will be qualified as certified care workers upon completion of the course,” the embassy said.

But Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said Jpepa reduces our country into a nation of beggars pleading for some pennies. ” Imagine this extreme equation, in exchange for 30 caregiving jobs, the country is leasing 600,000 hectares of prime agricultural lands to Japanese bio-fuel producers,” he said.

The Pamalakaya leader was referring to the recently concluded bio-fuel deal between the country and Japan, where the Philippines will allow the United Kingdom based Japanese firm Pacific Bio-Fields Corporation, who will be allowed to exploit more than a half a million hectares of forestal lands in Northern Luzon for bio-fuel production intended for the fuel needs of auto carmakers in Japan.

One of the criticisms posed by Pamalakaya during the Senate deliberation on Jpepa last year, was the provision allowing Japanese factory ships to enter the country’s exclusive economic zone, where Japan industrial fishing fleets will be allowed inside the Philippine territorial waters to fish for tuna and other precious marine species.

Pamalakaya said a single 3,000 metric ton Japanese factory ship has a capacity to catch 150 metric tons of tuna a day, and by industry standard, it could harvest 50,000 metric tons of tuna per year or equivalent to
$ 320 million per year.

The militant group said it is high time for the Philippine Senate to immediately subject Jpepa to a review and possible abrogation given the one-sided and exploitative nature and character of the bilateral agreement.#

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DENR chief slammed over 600,000 hectare RP-Japan biodiesel deal

DENR chief slammed over 600,000 hectare RP-Japan biodiesel deal

The left-leaning fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Friday slammed Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Joselito Atienza for allowing the United Kingdom-based Japanese firm Pacific-Bio-Fields Corp. to use 600,00 hectares of public lands for biodiesel production, dismissing it as national crime against national interest.

“The DENR under the tutelage of Secretary Atienza further degraded itself into the biggest pimp of national patrimony with this latest biodiesel escapade. Instead of protecting the country’s patrimony and natural resources, this office has turned into the largest money outlet of the corrupt administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo,” Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said in a press statement.

The DENR provincial office in Ilocos Norte had found the area in Pagudpud in Barangay Caunayan to be suitable for coconut plantation after inspecting it last year. The inspection was ordered by DENR Secretary Atienza.

“This is Secretary Atienza performing his role to the hilt as the most aggressive agent of Malacañang in disposing public lands for corporate takeover. This virtual sell out should be further exposed, opposed and condemned by the 90 million Filipinos,” said Hicap.

The Pamalakaya leader said the RP-Japan 600,000 hectare biodiesel deal is part of the government’s commitment to Japan under the Japan-Philippine Economic and Partnership Agreement (Jpepa), the controversial bilateral economic agreement approved by the Philippine Senate last year.

“This is Jpepa in action. Although Japan will lease it for 25 years and could renew it for 25 years, that is virtual land grabbing and land ownership because 50 years up to 75 years already constitute a lifespan,” Hicap noted.

Pamalakaya said it will explore all legal venues to stop the RP-Japan coco deal, including the filing of a temporary restraining order (TRO) before the Supreme Court and the filing of plunder and other criminal and administrative charges against Secretary Atienza and other groups and persons involved in the highly treacherous deal before the Office of the Ombudsman.

“We will make things hard and difficult for Secretary Atienza and his partners in crime in and out of Malacañang, including the Japanese business mafia behind this incorrigible biodiesel adventure in the country,” the group said.

To start its legal offensive, Pamalakaya today pressed senators and congressmen to investigate the agreement between Pacific-Bio Fields Corp. and its local partner- the Philippine BioEnergy Northern Luzon Inc. and the supplemental Memorandum of Agreement between the DENR and the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA).

The militant group put to task Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile and House Speaker Prospero Nograles to immediately calendar the investigation. “It would be better if both House leaders conduct the start the probe ahead of the scheduled State of the Nation Address by President Arroyo,” the militant group said.

“The Senate President and the Speaker of the House must rally the lawmakers in declaring the agreement illegal, immoral and unconstitutional. They should cross party lines and go for the truth and nothing but the truth, because national interest is at stake here,” said Pamalakaya.

Pamalakaya lamented that the incident involving the free use of 600,000 hectares of lands for the production of bio-diesel for the use of Japanese users is a clear proof that it is really anti-Filipino and merely intended to address the need of Japanese transnational corporations.

“In exchange for 400 nursing and caregiving jobs in Japan, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will allow the corporate exploitation of 400,000 hectares of Philippine agricultural lands to foreign groups identified with and serving at the pleasure of Japanese car makers. No Filipino can stomach this kind of across-the-nation betrayal of national interest,” said Pamalakaya.

In an announcement in Tokyo which coincided with the state visit of President Arroyo, the Pacific Bio-Fields Holding Corp. said the project would make alternative auto fuel which it plans to sell to Japanese users in five years. Its counterpart the Bio-Energy NL headed by company president Salacnib Baterina denied that the government will allow the use of 400,00 hectares for the production of bio-diesel for free. #

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Pamalakaya protests Japan’s plan to dock ships in RP ports

Pamalakaya protests Japan’s plan to dock ships in RP ports

The militant fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Thursday rejected the proposal of the Japanese government to allow its international sea vessels to dock in several ports across the country as they await shipment of imported products to foreign countries.

In a press statement, Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said the proposal of Japanese government to allow its international cargo ships to anchor in Philippine ports is tantamount to reducing the country into the docking capital of Japan in Southeast Asia.

“The proposal is outrageous and extremely mind-boggling. Imagine Japanese ships carrying Japanese flags and suggesting Japanese control will saturate Philippines ports in the immediate future. This ship invasion of Japan is tantamount to across-the-country violation of the country’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” said Hicap.

According to labor and employment secretary Marianito Roque, Japan is eyeing the country to become the lay-up heaven of their international vessels in response to the global economic crisis which continues to slowdown demand on imported products.

The labor chief said he met up with Japanese ship owners last week, and they have initially identified the ports of Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SMBA) and the Malalad Bay in Davao as possible lay up centers for Japanese vessels.

According to Roque, the Philippines is being strongly considered because it is one of the closest neighbors of Japan, and that makes it a cost-efficient area for Japanese ship owners to dock their vessels until a strong demand for shipping cargo returns.

The labor department said there are two kinds of lay ups—one is hot lay up where the crew are still on board the anchored ship and will still get regular pay, and the other one is cold lay up, which would require crew members to leave the ship.

“As far as we are concerned there’s no such thing as RP-Japan docking agreement or RP-Japan visiting vessels agreement. While there is this one-sided and notorious economic pact known as Jpepa (Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement), it does not suggest that the Philippines will accommodate hundreds and thousands of Japanese vessels waiting for strong demands for overseas shipment of imported products,” the Pamalakaya leader added.

Pamalakaya’s Hicap said at present there are more than 3,000 Japanese vessels plying international waters, and the Philippine government will be obliged to provide docking ports for Japanese vessels which want to avail of the country’s major ports all over the country.

The militant group said Japan is also notorious as far as tuna poaching in the country’s waters is concerned citing reported poaching activities of Japanese owned and operated factory ships to fish tuna off the waters of Aurora province from January to July 2008.

In January, Pamalakaya filed a diplomatic protest against the Japanese government against the poaching activities of Japanese fishing vessels in the waters off Aurora province.

The militant group said while cannot ascertain the total tuna haul of Japanese fishing vessels; it said at least eight Japanese fishing vessels, some with canneries were seen almost daily during those months.

Pamalakaya said Japanese tuna poachers used long-line fishing gears in the hauling of tuna, blue marlin and other high value fish species. The group said Japanese fishing vessels even entered in the 15-kilometer municipal fishing waters from the shoreline.

Industry standards said, a 3,000 Japanese single-ton tuna factory ship, accompanied by support fishing fleets can catch as much as 150 metric tons of tuna on a 24-hour operation basis. By industry standard, a single factory ship could harvest 50,000 metric tons of tuna per year.

“Let us say there are eight Japanese tuna fishing vessels that regularly poach in the waters of Aurora province daily from January to July that means a total haul of 27,000 tons of tuna per factory ship during the period or 216,000 metric tons of tuna for all eight fishing vessels,” the group said.

According to Pamalakaya’s computation, the owners of the eight fishing vessels could have earned as much as US $ 1.274 billion or US$ 160 million per fishing vessel in just six months from tuna poaching in Aurora and other tuna-rich waters of the Philippine territory.

“The situation is very, very alarming. The Philippine waters which is part of the country’s national territory has become an open city for foreign fishing plunderers led by Japanese tuna fishing interests and shipping cargo monopolies in Japan,” the group added. #

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Pamalakaya assailed Japanese envoy

Pamalakaya assailed Japanese envoy
for snubbing diplomatic protest vs. poachers

The left-leaning fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Friday assailed Japanese Ambassador to Manila Makoto Katsura for sitting on a diplomatic protest filed by the fishers group last week against the poaching activities of Japanese tuna factory ships in Aurora province.

“We don’t deserve this kind of snub and cold treatment. We are raising a very serious matter here,” Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said in a press statement. According to Hicap, the three-page diplomatic protest was faxed last week to the Japanese embassy in Manila upon the instruction of a Filipina staff of the embassy.

“We did our assignment. The ball is now on the court of the Japanese embassy in Manila to act with dispatch and in accordance with the national and collective interest of the Filipino people,” the Pamalakaya leader added.

Pamalakaya information officer Gerry Albert Corpuz who faxed the three-page diplomatic protest last week said, the Filipina staff of the Japanese embassy in Manila told him that they should first call the attention of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) before writing the embassy.

But Corpuz told the Filipina staff of the Japanese embassy that Pamalakaya’s three-page diplomatic protest was an independent act of his group, adding that DFA is a white elephant and insensitive to the cause of the Filipino fisherfolk and the general public.

“Who are they to tell us what to do?” he added.

The three-page diplomatic protest note was faxed Tuesday afternoon at around 3:00 pm last week was signed by Hicap and Salvador France, Pamalakaya national vice-chairperson for Luzon, and was addressed to the Japanese ambassador to Manila Makoto Katsura.

The protest letter read: “The Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya), a national federation of small fisherfolk organization in the Philippines that counts a total mass membership of not less than 100, 000 small fisherfolk across the archipelago is bringing to your attention the alleged poaching activities of Japanese owned and operated factory ships to fish tuna off the waters of Aurora province from January to July 2008.”

It further said: “Honorable Ambassador, the national leadership and mass membership of Pamalakaya in the name of 1.8 million small Filipino fisherfolk and close 90 million Filipino people, strongly condemned this poaching frenzy of Japanese corporate factory ships inside the Philippine waters.”

In their protest letter the Pamalakaya leaders said they view this poaching and invasion activities of Japanese factory ships as gross violations of our national sovereignty and patrimony as people and as a nation, and therefore, we lodge this strongly worded protest in behalf of affected sector and in behalf of the 90 million Filipinos.

Pamalakaya cited a recent interview with Senator Edgardo Angara who revealed that Japanese, Korean and Taiwanese fishing vessels regularly come to Baler Bay in Aurora province between January to July every year to fish for tuna.

In that story, Senator Angara said the haul cannot be ascertained but the lawmaker said eight fishing vessels, some with canneries were seen almost daily during those months. Her sister, Aurora Gov. Bellaflor Angara-Castillo had asked the Philippine Coast Guard to establish a station in Northern Aurora and assign patrol boats to protect the province’s waters from foreign poachers.

According to Aurora provincial fishery officer Victoriano San Pedro, fishermen reported seeing
long-line fishing gears being used in the hauling of tuna, blue marlin and other high value fish species. He said foreign fishing vessels even entered in the 15-kilometer municipal fishing waters from the shoreline.

“Your Honor, to give you an idea on how much a Japanese tuna factory ship could create damage to Philippine tuna resources, a 3,000 Japanese single-ton tuna factory ship, accompanied by support fishing fleets can catch as much as 150 metric tons of tuna on a 24-hour operation basis. By industry standard, a single factory ship could harvest 50,000 metric tons of tuna per year,” Pamalakaya said.

Let us say there are eight Japanese tuna fishing vessels that regularly poach in the waters of Aurora province daily from January to July that means a total haul of 27,000 tons of tuna per factory ship during the period or 216,000 metric tons of tuna for all eight fishing vessels.

According to Pamalakaya’s computation, the owners of the eight fishing vessels could have earned as much as US $ 1.274 billion or US$ 160 million per fishing vessel in just six months from tuna poaching in Aurora and other tuna-rich waters of the Philippine territory.

“Honorable Ambassador, the situation is expected to get worse with the Senate ratification of the controversial Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (Jpepa) last October because under the one-sided agreement, the Philippine government fully recognizes the entry of Japanese factory ships into the Philippine waters at the detriment and expense of our small tuna fishermen and the already fragile marine environment,” the group said.

“Mr. Ambassador, your country is known to consume 630,000 tons of tuna per year or 11 pounds of tuna per person. With the current shrinking catch in Japan seas and in the Philippines as its’ one of the major sources of tuna in Southeast Asia, particularly the country’s fishing areas with confirmed rich tuna deposits like the Moro Gulf and Celebes Sea in Mindanao, the Northern Aurora waters and other tuna potential areas across the Philippine archipelago,” added Pamalakaya.

The militant group said Japan was once a leading tuna producer in Asia and in the world, but was overtaken by Taiwan in recent years. The other tuna producers are the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, South Korea and China. Japan is now reviving its interest in tuna, because of the scarcity of supply and high demand for tuna which is equivalent to lucrative business and promise of huge return on Japanese investments.

Pamalakaya stressed that the fishing aspect of Jpepa is meant for the benefit and survival of Japan’s commercial tuna fishing at the expense of Filipino tuna producers and small fisherfolk across the archipelago.

“With the increase in the supply of tuna produced by Japanese factory ships and their shipment to Japan and other countries, the local tuna producers and small tuna fishermen would be at their mercy by way of depressed prices, or worst when tuna stocks in Philippine EEZ are depleted it could lead to supply constraints and closure of local tuna producers’ of livelihood of 180,000 tuna fishermen and fish workers,” it further said.

“The situation is very, very alarming. The Philippine waters which is part of the country’s national territory has become an open city for foreign fishing plunderers led by Japanese tuna fishing interests yet the Japanese government is not making any decisive action to stop this “gang rape” of Philippine tuna stocks” by Japanese tuna factory ships,” said Pamalakaya.

The militant group was hopeful that the diplomatic protest they filed would reach proper Japanese government authorities including Japan’s lawmaking body—the Japanese Diet for swift, concrete and reasonable resolution and dispatch. #

Pamalakaya leaders discuss Jpepa and invasion of Japanese tuna factory ships in RP waters

Pamalakaya leaders discuss Jpepa and invasion of Japanese tuna factory ships in RP waters

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Pamalakaya filed diplomatic protest against Japanese gov’t over tuna poaching off Aurora province

Pamalakaya filed diplomatic protest filed against Japanese gov’t over tuna poaching off Aurora province

Leaders of the left-leaning fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Tuesday filed a three-page diplomatic protest before the Japanese embassy in Manila to denounce reported poaching activities of Japanese tuna factory ships in the waters of Aurora province in Central Luzon.

The three-page diplomatic protest note was faxed Tuesday afternoon at around 3:00 pm according to Pamalakaya information officer Gerry Albert Corpuz. The fisherfolk diplomatic note signed by Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap and Salvador France, Pamalakaya national vice-chairperson for Luzon was addressed to Japanese ambassador to Manila Makoto Katsura.

The protest letter read: “The Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya), a national federation of small fisherfolk organization in the Philippines that counts a total mass membership of not less than 100, 000 small fisherfolk across the archipelago is bringing to your attention the alleged poaching activities of Japanese owned and operated factory ships to fish tuna off the waters of Aurora province from January to July 2008.”

It further said: “Honorable Ambassador, the national leadership and mass membership of Pamalakaya in the name of 1.8 million small Filipino fisherfolk and close 90 million Filipino people, strongly condemned this poaching frenzy of Japanese corporate factory ships inside the Philippine waters.”

In their protest letter the Pamalakaya leaders said they view this poaching and invasion activities of Japanese factory ships as gross violations of our national sovereignty and patrimony as people and as a nation, and therefore, we lodge this strongly worded protest in behalf of affected sector and in behalf of the 90 million Filipinos.

Pamalakaya cited the recent story written by Inquirer Central Luzon reporter Tonette Orejas about her interview with Senator Edgardo Angara who revealed that Japanese, Korean and Taiwanese fishing vessels regularly come to Baler Bay in Aurora province between January to July every year to fish for tuna.

In that story, Senator Angara said the haul cannot be ascertained but the lawmaker said eight fishing vessels, some with canneries were seen almost daily during those months. Her sister, Aurora Gov. Bellaflor Angara-Castillo had asked the Philippine Coast Guard to establish a station in Northern Aurora and assign patrol boats to protect the province’s waters from foreign poachers.

According to Aurora provincial fishery officer Victoriano San Pedro, fishermen reported seeing
long-line fishing gears being used in the hauling of tuna, blue marlin and other high value fish species. He said foreign fishing vessels even entered in the 15-kilometer municipal fishing waters from the shoreline.

“Your Honor, to give you an idea on how much a Japanese tuna factory ship could create damage to Philippine tuna resources, a 3,000 Japanese single-ton tuna factory ship, accompanied by support fishing fleets can catch as much as 150 metric tons of tuna on a 24-hour operation basis. By industry standard, a single factory ship could harvest 50,000 metric tons of tuna per year,” Pamalakaya said.

Let us say there are eight Japanese tuna fishing vessels that regularly poach in the waters of Aurora province daily from January to July that means a total haul of 27,000 tons of tuna per factory ship during the period or 216,000 metric tons of tuna for all eight fishing vessels.

According to Pamalakaya’s computation, the owners of the eight fishing vessels could have earned as much as US $ 1.274 billion or US$ 160 million per fishing vessel in just six months from tuna poaching in Aurora and other tuna-rich waters of the Philippine territory.

“Honorable Ambassador, the situation is expected to get worse with the Senate ratification of the controversial Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (Jpepa) last October because under the one-sided agreement, the Philippine government fully recognizes the entry of Japanese factory ships into the Philippine waters at the detriment and expense of our small tuna fishermen and the already fragile marine environment,” the group said.

“Mr. Ambassador, your country is known to consume 630,000 tons of tuna per year or 11 pounds of tuna per person. With the current shrinking catch in Japan seas and in the Philippines as its’ one of the major sources of tuna in Southeast Asia, particularly the country’s fishing areas with confirmed rich tuna deposits like the Moro Gulf and Celebes Sea in Mindanao, the Northern Aurora waters and other tuna potential areas across the Philippine archipelago,” added Pamalakaya.

The militant group said Japan was once a leading tuna producer in Asia and in the world, but was overtaken by Taiwan in recent years. The other tuna producers are the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, South Korea and China. Japan is now reviving its interest in tuna, because of the scarcity of supply and high demand for tuna which is equivalent to lucrative business and promise of huge return on Japanese investments.

Pamalakaya stressed that the fishing aspect of Jpepa is meant for the benefit and survival of Japan’s commercial tuna fishing at the expense of Filipino tuna producers and small fisherfolk across the archipelago.

“With the increase in the supply of tuna produced by Japanese factory ships and their shipment to Japan and other countries, the local tuna producers and small tuna fishermen would be at their mercy by way of depressed prices, or worst when tuna stocks in Philippine EEZ are depleted it could lead to supply constraints and closure of local tuna producers’ of livelihood of 180,000 tuna fishermen and fish workers,” it further said.

“The situation is very, very alarming. The Philippine waters which is part of the country’s national territory has become an open city for foreign fishing plunderers led by Japanese tuna fishing interests yet the Japanese government is not making any decisive action to stop this “gang rape” of Philippine tuna stocks” by Japanese tuna factory ships,” said Pamalakaya.

The militant group was hopeful that the diplomatic protest they filed would reach proper Japanese government authorities including Japan’s lawmaking body—the Japanese Diet for swift, concrete and reasonable resolution and dispatch. #

Starting them young

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