started this petition to
Rodrigo Duterte, President of the Republic of the Philippines
1,500 farmer and fisherfolk families of Sicogon Island, in Carles Iloilo in the Philippines,
organized under the Federation of Sicogon Island Farmers and Fisherfolk Association (FESIFFA),
need YOUR support to stop a powerful corporation's tourism project that is threatening our traditional livelihoods and human right to land, food, water and housing
struck the Philippines in 2013,
was among the
most severely devastated
government assigned Ayala Land
- one of the most powerful real estate developers in the country - to
lead the reconstruction and rehabilitation
of our island.
Instead of helping us, Ayala formed a joint venture
with Sicogon Development Corporation (SIDECO) to
realize SIDECO’s longstanding plan to convert the entire island into a high-end resort
. SIDECO is a private company that holds a title for 809 hectares land of the 1,163 hectare island of Sicogon.
In fact, the
corporate-led disaster response disrupted our livelihoods
and forced us to
give up our hard-won land rights
Ayala and SIDECO
left us hungry
for two weeks and their armed security guards prevented us from rebuilding our houses.
advantage of our vulnerability
by pressuring us to
accept either of two options
: to take a small onetime payment of 150,000 Pesos (about 2,850 USD) and leave the island immediately, or to take 10,000 Pesos (about 190 USD) and relocate on the mainland.
Under duress, many families took either of the two options. The
and are members of FESIFFA, opted to stay but had to
harassments and intimidation
by Ayala and SIDECO’s armed guards and corporate agents. We
through support of relatives and a few engaged humanitarian organizations.
Despite the dreadfulness of our situation, we
that the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) will
redistribute the struggle-won 334.6
hectares of land
placed under the national agrarian reform program with us rightful beneficiaries.
as the previous administration
lacked the political will
to implement the reform amidst corporate giant Ayala Land’s tourism plans.
In 2014, we were
pressured to sign an agreement with Ayala and SIDECO
The agreement promised us 70 hectares residential area and conventional farmland, livelihood support, and funds for housing and land development. In exchange, we
renounced our land rights
to the said 334.6 hectares.
Ayala and SIDECO
breached the agreement
and hastily embarked on converting the island into a tourism resort. Today, a port, an airport and two hotel facilities are already operating.
diverted the mountain
, which served as our major
source of household and drinking water
for more than a hundred years. Now, we are facing a
severe water crisis
Recently, we were able to get the DAR to issue an order that temporarily halts further tourism development on the island. But this is not enough. Our
human rights to land, food and water will continually
be violated if the conversion of the whole island into a high-end tourism
project will not be permanently stopped
Now, Ayala and SIDECO have started to
file eviction cases
against some of usand
prevent - again - our supporters from
entering the island
urge the President
of the Republic of the Philippines to take
immediate actions to secure our land tenure and
access to fishing grounds
resolve the human rights violations
“We call on all people in the world, tourists and investors to support us
in securing our human right to land, food, water and housing. Add your name and
be one with us in our struggle.”
Stop Ayala's #monstertourism on Sicogon Island!
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