Makabayan lawmakers want Manila Bay rehab postponed
MANILA, Philippines — Members of the so-called House Makabayan opposition bloc urged the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to suspend the Manila Bay rehabilitation “until a comprehensive and holistic study on the socio-economic impact on affected marginalized sectors has been diligently carried out.”
Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao, Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate, ACT Teachers Reps. Antonio Tinio and France Castro, Gabriela Reps. Emmi de Jesus and Arlene Brosas, and Kabataan Rep. Sarah Elago filed House Resolution No. 2452 on Tuesday stressing the need to study the impact of the Manila Bay rehabilitation on the livelihood of poor sectors.
In filing the resolution, the progressive lawmakers asked the DENR to “postpone or suspend the execution of the Manila Bay rehabilitation until a comprehensive and holistic study on the socio-economic impact on the affected marginalized sectors has been diligently carried out.”
The comprehensive plan or masterplan on the rehabilitation should also be publicized, according to the lawmakers.
The government, they added, should also hold public consultations among affected marginalized sectors.
The legislators ultimately underscored the need to “draft a genuine and democratic program that will sincerely rehabilitate Manila Bay without infringing on the basic rights to livelihood and an adequate standard of living of marginalized sectors.”
Casilao led the filing together with fisherfolk and peasant women.
On December 12, 2018, the DENR announced its plan to roll-out the Manila Bay rehabilitation, and along with this, DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu said it would include the relocation of 300,000 informal settler families, living along the coastline of Manila Bay and nearby areas.
Cimatu also announced the three-phase rehabilitation as clean-up of esteros and coastline of Manila Bay; public education about solid waste management; and sustained efforts to save Manila Bay from further environmental degradation. But no master plan was given.
Last Sunday various government agencies, led by the DENR, kicked off its rehabilitation project for Manila Bay. /cbb
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