COVID-19 restrictions are putting fishing communities in the Philippines at risk

Jen Awingan has previously worked with InsightShare on Participatory Video projects based in the Philippines. Now, she is working with the Ammoyo Volunteers to create videos documenting the struggles of fishing communities in Luzon and raising awareness for their self-organised relief programme.

Fishing communities in Luzon: Competing Crises and COVID-19

Around the world, we are seeing two competing crises: the COVID-19 pandemic and the suffering of poor and vulnerable communities due to restrictions. Communities can quickly be cut off from basic needs and suffer hugely as a consequence. Communities living on the island of Luzon, in the Philippines, are no different: many of the 13,000 households are made up of fisherfolk who make a precarious living through daily fishing and trade. ‘Staying at home’ has put a stop to this, forcing many households to go hungry. 

This video, captured by Ammoyo Volunteers, highlights the struggles of fishing communities in Luzon and the lack of government support they have received. In response, local people have driven their own campaign, Ammoyo: Ilocos Peoples COVID-19 Response. Ammoyo or ‘bayanihan’ in Iloco refers to the ‘community spirit’ of helping one another in times of need, which Ilocos farmers practice. It is an immediate response to the health and economic challenges that the crisis has brought about, especially with the unprepared declaration of the national government of the Enhanced Community Quarantine or ECQ and /lockdown. 

It was established to facilitate and communicate quickly people’s demands and  responses to the crisis so that local government units, non-governmental entities, organizations and groups could assist them immediately. It also evolved into raising various support including relief generation and delivery to communities hit hard by the lockdown including the fisherfolks, farming communities, Indigenous Peoples, women, young children and senior citizens.


Are you looking for ways to support community-led initiatives, such as local language radio broadcasts to spread essential, reliable information about COVID-19? Your support is essential to support marginalised communities as agents of change. Please donate here or contact us to discuss partnerships.

Find out more about how our network of Indigenous hubs are responding to the crisis here: COVID-19: Indigenous Insights.

You can use the contact links below to directly support the Ammoyo local aid network:

Telephone: 0917-145-4224 / 0942-217-2570


Facebook: @ammoyo.ilocos, Ilocano Friends International

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