Cancel all reclamation projects, gov’t urged
MANILA, Philippines — Fisherfolk and environmental groups on Sunday urged the government to cancel all reclamation and dredging activities, saying the projects would affect at least 27,000 hectares of the country’s coastal areas.
“Up to one-fourth of the entire Manila Bay may be destroyed due to reclamation and reclamation-related projects like seabed quarrying and dredging. That is the situation we are facing,” Jon Bonifacio, national coordinator of Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment, told a press briefing.
More than 100 fisherfolk, scientists, environmentalists and concerned citizens participated in the two-day anti-reclamation summit organized by the People’s Network for the Integrity of Coastal Habitats and Ecosystems over the weekend.
The group said 53 reclamation projects were directly affecting more than 1.5 million people across the country while in Manila Bay, communities reported a 65 percent to 90 percent loss in income due to reclamation and related projects.
Fernando Hicap, chair of Pamalakaya, said one of the expected outputs of the summit was the consolidated input on legal actions they could take to stop the reclamation projects.
“We ask the Philippine Reclamation Authority to open public scrutiny of reclamation, dredging or seabed quarrying projects,” Bonifacio said.