Cumulative assessment of Manila Bay reclamation projects to finish in 1 year
MANILA, Philippines — The cumulative assessment of reclamation projects in Manila Bay could be finished in a year, but an initial report would be available in the next six months, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said on Thursday.
In August, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. ordered the suspension of reclamation activities in Manila Bay, pending the review on the processes on the projects’ approval and their environmental impact.
During a briefing with the House committee on ways and means, the DENR said it has initially started its compliance review for the three ongoing reclamation sites in the area.
The review for the two new sites has already been submitted to the Office of the President and the agency is just waiting for a directive from it for the next action on these sites, DENR Undersecretary Atty. Jonas Leones told the committee.
“For the cumulative assessment, since we have already formed the team that will conduct the impact assessment, the commitment there is that at least one year, we can finish the full report, but in the next six months, we can provide this body with the initial report of the cumulative impact assessment,” Leones said.
According to Leones, they have a two-pronged assessment on the reclamation projects.
One, the DENR will conduct a performance review of the projects’ compliance with the environmental laws. Two, it willl also do a cumulative impact assessment that will determine the appropriate strategies the government can undertake to preserve and restore Manila Bay.
Leones noted that only assessments on each of the project’s individual impact were made prior to their approval.
He also said they are still focusing on Manila Bay, and not yet on other reclamations in the country.
There are 21 reclamation projects in Manila Bay that are all subjects for review, Leones noted.