Thursday, August 20, 2009

Cebu fishermen join protest vs NY dinner

Cebu fishermen join protest vs NY dinner

By Iste Sesante Leopoldo
Inquirer Visayas
First Posted 01:32:00 08/19/2009

Filed Under: Food, Restaurants & catering, Government, Travel & Commuting, Protest
CEBU CITY, Philippines—At least 20 members of a militant fisherman’s group shared a set of meal that could be their daily fare but which Tuesday became a symbol of their protest against allegedly excessive spending by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in her US trip.

Members of the Panaghugpong Sa Gagmayng Mangingisda sa Sugbo (Alliance of Small Fisherfolk in Cebu) ate lunch of rice and dried fish in a protest action in front of the MalacaƱang sa Sugbo here.

“How can they manage to spend lavishly on their meals when the whole country, especially the marginalized sector, cannot afford to have a meal three times a day?” said Victor Lapaz, Pamana Sugbo chair.

He said the meal that his group ate was the fishermen’s usual fare.

He said fishermen usually skip breakfast and dinner because of extreme poverty.

“It’s okay if they don’t have breakfast or dinner as long as they can have lunch so they will have enough energy for work,” Lapaz said.

The National Statistical Coordinating Board has identified the fishing sector as among the poorest in the country.

The board said a family of five needs P6,274 a month to survive.

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