Cebu folk seek bishop’s help vs reclamation project | Inquirer News

Cebu folk seek bishop’s help vs reclamation project

/ 04:46 AM November 07, 2021

JOB THREAT Workers of a shipyard company in Consolacion, Cebu, stage a protest rally in early October against the proposed reclamation project that will displace the shipyards operating in the town’s coastal village of Tayud. —PHOTO COURTESY OF EDWARD LIGAS

CEBU CITY, Cebu, Philippines  — Saying they are like sheep without a shepherd, residents and workers affected by the proposed reclamation project in Consolacion town in northern Cebu province have turned to Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma for help.

The groups composed of fisherfolk, motorcycle-for-hire drivers, vendors and shipyard workers asked for an audience with the prelate to seek his guidance but the prelate has yet to respond to their request. Msgr. Joseph Tan, spokesperson of the Cebu archdiocese, could not be reached for comment on Saturday.


In a letter dated Nov. 3, the group led by urban poor leader Edward Ligas told Palma they needed his help because their plea with officials of Consolacion to stop the reclamation project had fallen on deaf ears.


“We are already poor but what little livelihood we have left is being threatened by the plan of the municipal government to reclaim 235.8 hectares and turn it into what they call as Seafront City,” they said.

“The project, which is the centerpiece of the Alegado administration, does not only threaten our livelihood but our homes as well,” they added.

In his State of the Town Address on Oct. 25, Consolacion Mayor Joannes Alegado vowed to focus the remaining eight months of his administration on the reclamation project.

His mother, Vice Mayor Teresita Alegado, who is running for mayor in 2022, also said she would continue the project should she win.

The project will be done by the local government in partnership with a private consortium, La Consolacion Seafront Development Corporation (LCSDC), whose incorporators include Rep. Victor Yap of Tarlac and his brother, former San Jose Mayor Jose Yap Jr.

On bended knees

According to the sectors affected by the proposed reclamation, the project would not only affect fishermen from Consolacion but also those coming from the nearby cities of Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue and Liloan town.


“With no one else to turn to, we ask on bended knees for your help and guidance. We are like sheep in need of a shepherd. We pray that you grant us an audience and hear us out,” read the letter sent to Palma.

“We are desperate because the lives and that of our children are at stake. Please hear our plea, our beloved archbishop,” they added.

Last month, town residents whose livelihood depends on the shipyard operations in the area also appealed to President Duterte to stop the reclamation project but got no response yet.

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“Mayor Alegado and LCSDC should not pursue this reclamation project as it will lead to the loss of livelihood of fisherfolk and other workers. Our voice is clear: We oppose the Seafront City reclamation project as it will destroy lives,” Ligas said.

TAGS: Jose Palma

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