Davao fishermen raise concerns about coastal road project
The Franciscan Dialogue Program participants were able to hear the pressing concerns of the fisherfolks in Talomo District Davao City.
By Mark Joy G. Basallajes
July 3, 2018
During a Franciscan Dialogue Program (FDP) visit on June 29, fisherfolk raised some concerns about the ongoing coastal road construction that are threatening their livelihood and way of life.
According to fishermen, the bypass road project in the Taloma district is depriving them access to safer shorelines and higher grounds that protect their fishing boats from strong monsoon waves, especially during typhoons. They said ten of the fishing boats donated by the government have already been damaged after hitting boulders piled along the pavement. Speaking to the religious who joined the 4th Franciscan Dialogue Program of the Franciscan congregations in the Philippines, the fishermen appealed for the urgent provision of a safe port to dock and shelter for their fishing boats.
Meanwhile, residents whose houses were identified for demolition to make way for the project also asked the government to be allowed to rebuild their houses near the sea to enable them to continue fishing, their sole means of livelihood.
Meanwhile, the “Samahang Manggagawa sa Coca-cola” (SAMACOKE), which staged a strike on April 2 after a labor agency terminated 72 of their members, joined the dialogue with the participants.
In the afternoon, the Franciscans visited the Farmers of Samahan ng Magsasaka ng Alambre (SAMAL) in Brgy. Alambre, Toril District, Davao City and lastly, they had the opportunity to visit and dialogue with the prisoners in Davao City Jail and give them toiletries.
According to FDP chairperson Fr. Daniel Boromeo, OFM, the objective of the said visit is “to lead the participants to dialogue with the marginalized and with existing ecological realities and/or beauty of creation.”
“This activity actually encompasses the beginning of the ‘affective phase’ of this program where the participants are lead to feel and experiences this encounter that may hopefully lead one towards introspection and discernment, especially towards concrete actions in the context one’s present vocation journey and ministries,” said the priest.
Part of the said program is to encounter and dialogue with the people living in the peripheries focusing on the theme for the year “Radiating Dialogue within the Religious Community & Christian Faith, Towards other Faith & those in the Periphery.”