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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Atin Ito announces ‘Adopt-a-Payao’ campaign to help Filipino fishers

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Atin Ito coalition announced they will launch the “Adopt-a-Payao” campaign in response to the ongoing challenges faced by Filipino fisherfolk in the West Philippine Sea, particularly in Subic, Bataan, and Masinloc.

The initiative aims to provide much-needed assistance to local fishing communities by deploying “payaos,” or fish-aggregating devices, to help sustain their livelihoods amid illegal Chinese presence and harassment in the area. 

Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement president and Atin Ito co-convenor Edicio Dela Torre said the continuous encroachment of China in the West Philippine Sea has significantly affected the livelihoods of Filipino fishers, hindering their ability to fish freely in their own waters.

“These fishers have fought bravely for our sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea. Now, it is our turn to stand by them and provide the support they urgently need,” Dela Torre said. 

Akbayan President Rafaela David, also an Atin Ito co-convenor, said their “Adopt-a-Payao” campaign seeks to empower Filipino fishing communities and stand in solidarity with them against foreign aggression in the West Philippine Sea. 

“Each payao deployed is not just a means of supporting our fishers but also an act of patriotism, a symbol of solidarity for our fellow Filipinos, and a firm stance against China’s unlawful actions in the West Philippine Sea,” David said.

She called on the business community, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), professionals, and other sectors to join hands in supporting Filipino fishers by sponsoring the manufacturing and deployment of more payaos.

“By contributing to this initiative, individuals and organizations can directly impact the lives of fishing communities, enabling them to continue their essential work despite the challenges they face,” David said. 

A payao is a traditional fishing device from the Philippines designed to aggregate or lure fish. It typically consists of an anchored floating or submerged structure made of materials such as bamboo, steel, or other available resources.

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