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    Posted April 11, 2014 by

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    Phl’s no-dwell policy questioned

    A militant Philippine lawmaker on Friday sought a congressional inquiry into the impact of the "no-build zone, no-dwell zone policy" of the government, which is being implemented in coastal areas affected by typhoon “Yolanda” (Haiyan) late last year.
    Rep. Fernando Hicap said the policy will favor local and foreign private enterprise and business involved in rehabilitation programs and will cause severe damage to livelihood and way of life of fisherfolks in affected communities.
    Hicap said Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) even admitted that the 40 meters no-build zone would be extended up to 200 meters from the shorelines to give way to eco-tourism projects of the national government under the public-private partnership and other business ventures.
    "The fisherfolks are asking the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources (DENR) to dismantle the no-build zone markers and allow the small fishermen to return to their villages and resume fishing activities," Hicap said.
    He said the no-build zone policy would affect more than 100,000 small fishermen at about 800,000 workers dependent on fishing.
    The policy prohibits fishermen, including other residents, from returning to their villages and are not also allowed to construct houses and settlements near the coastlines and 40 meters away from the shorelines.
    Hicap added that the policy would also cover the areas of Manila Bay from Cavite to Bataan in Central Luzon and all towns surrounding Laguna Lake since these were areas affected by tropical storm Ondoy in 2009 and heavy monsoon rains in 2013.
    Hicap said the no-build zone policy was based on the draft Executive Order entitled Adopting Fisherfolk Shelter for Stewards as a National Strategy to Ensure Safe and Decent Settlement in Coastal Communities and Establishing Supporting Mechanism for its Implementation.
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