Fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) urged President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to support local science, technology, and research before allowing China to use the country’s resources.
The fisher groups’ made the statement after Marcos said that he was trying to overcome the roadblocks that surfaced during joint exploration talks with China, primarily the territorial dispute between the two countries in the West Philippine Sea.
“In case Pres. Marcos is unaware, the Philippines have overwhelming intellectual human resources for research and development that have been long neglected of government support. But if concretely supported and promoted, we won’t be needing China or any other country to make use of our potential energy resources,” said Pamalakaya National Spokesperson Ronnel Arambulo.
The progressive fishers group reiterated their stance against a joint exploration with China, as they believed that no good can come from it.
“Marcos should stick with upholding the arbitral ruling to assert our sovereign rights to China, instead of sweeping the issue under the rug. Moreover, the Marcos admin should support our local science and research industry for us to be capable of exploring and utilizing our very own resources,” stated Arambulo.
Marcos himself had reiterated the sovereignty of Philippine waters but emphasized the need to explore the Philippine seas for resources like oil and gas.
He previously said. “We’ll have to find a way because we really need it. The Philippines needs whatever we can find there.”