Latest Stories

Calls mount vs reclamation agency, Manila Bay projects


A modern-day “Battle of Manila Bay” is brewing between business interests that want to reclaim parts of it to build mini-cities and environment groups who don’t want it touched. INQUIRER PHOTO

An environmental lawyer is calling for the abolition of the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) to stop projects that could cover as much as 26,000 hectares on Manila Bay and adversely affect coastal communities.

Ipat Luna, chair of the green advocacy group Tanggol Kalikasan, said the government should instead focus on redeveloping neglected areas inland.

“We are studying how to question the very existence of the PRA, which is anathema to our constitutional right to a healthy environment,” Luna said at Thursday’s launch of People’s NICHE, a national alliance for the protection of marine ecosystems, at Remedios Jubilee Mission Center in Malate Church in Manila.

“At this time of climate change, we are calling for the abolition of the PRA. Why have an agency with a mandate to keep reclaiming coastal habitats that will raise the sea level and destroy another place (where the soil is sourced)?” Luna said. “What we need is a Philippine Redevelopment Authority to restore abandoned buildings and neglected areas.”

In the same forum, Fr. John Leydon, parish priest of Malate Church and member of the newly revived coalition SOS Manila Bay, invited the public to watch the Manila Bay sunset on Tuesday, Feb. 12, starting at 4 p.m. in an activity he called a “natural mobilization (against the) privatization of the commons.”

“Manila Bay belongs to everybody” and yet it will be privatized because of reclamation, he said. “These finance-driven projects, which will benefit a few people, are detrimental to the environment and will most probably add to urban decay.”

“People are invited to watch one of the greatest sunsets in the world; let’s experience it together and see what we’re going to lose,” Leydon said.

The PRA, formerly known as Public Estates Authority (PEA), is an attached agency of the Office of the President. It was created in 1977 through Presidential Decree No. 1084 to serve as a clearing house for reclamation projects.

The People’s NICHE (People’s Network for the Integrity of Coastal Habitats and Ecosystems) also called on the city government of Manila to repeal an ordinance that lifted the ban on reclamation projects in Manila Bay and allowed Manila Goldcoast Development Corp. to reclaim a portion of the bay for commercial purposes.

Luna said local governments should not allow themselves to be used by private developers that want to subvert the ban on owning public domain.

“Further reclamation of Manila Bay will greatly endanger the fragile marine ecosystem which contributes to food production and mitigates the disastrous effects of calamities and floods in nearby areas,” according to People’s NICHE spokesperson Jojo Carabeo.

The group also called on the national government to impose a 10-year moratorium on all reclamation projects.

“The history of reclamation projects is riddled with corruption and the lack of social acceptability, like what we experienced in the controversial PEA-Amari deal and the anomalous Diosdado Macapagal Highway project. Thousands of families are also displaced by these reclamation projects,” Kalikasan-PNE national coordinator Clemente Bautista Jr. said.

“Reclaimed areas also promote a consumptive and unsustainable lifestyle,” Luna said. “In their defense, they say adverse environmental effects will not happen. Probably if you reclaim just a portion of a coastal area, but not if the plan is to reclaim 26,000 hectares of Manila Bay” from Cavite to Bataan, as projected in the PRA national reclamation plan.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Manila Bay projects , PEA , Philippine Reclamation Authority , PRA , Public Estates Authority , Tanggol Kalikasan , “Battle of Manila Bay”

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Opinions split on Napoles turning state witness
  3. Delfin Lee: Blame Pag-Ibig, not me
  4. Plunder complaint filed vs PNP chief, firearms office head over license delivery deal
  5. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  6. San Juan cops fail to arrest Cedric Lee
  7. More ‘Yolanda’ bodies found
  8. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  9. Lawyer: Napoles ‘will tell all’
  10. Boy ‘sexually assaulted’ at Indonesia international school
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  3. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  4. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  8. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  9. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima


  • 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  • Napoles surgery in Makati hospital successful
  • Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  • Napoles turnaround alarms whistle-blowers
  • Palace prepared to charge its allies
  • Sports

  • Mixers trim Aces; Painters repulse Bolts
  • Donaire junks Garcia as coach, taps father
  • ’Bye Ginebra: No heavy heart this time
  • UAAP board tackles new rules
  • Baguio climb to decide Le Tour de Filipinas
  • Lifestyle

  • Entering the monkhood a rite of passage
  • Haneda International Airport: A destination on its own
  • Wanted: Beauty queen with a heart that beats for the environment
  • Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  • Life lessons I want to teach my son
  • Entertainment

  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • In love … with acting
  • From prison to the peak of success
  • ‘Asedillo’ location thrives
  • Business

  • Philippine Airlines to stop shipment of shark fins
  • PH banks not ready for Asean integration
  • Stocks down on profit-taking
  • Banks allowed to use ‘cloud’
  • SMIC to issue P15-B bonds
  • Technology

  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Bam Aquino becomes Master Splinter’s son after Wiki hack
  • Mark Caguioa lambasts Ginebra teammates on Twitter
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  • China and rivals sign naval pact to ease maritime tensions
  • What Went Before: Manila bus hostage crisis
  • Obama arrives in Tokyo, first stop of 4-nation tour
  • Believe it or not: Filipinos love US more than Yanks
  • Marketplace