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Taguig fishermen oppose DPWH dike

Loss of fishing grounds due to project feared
/ 01:15 AM February 22, 2015

More than 300 fishermen based in five barangays in Taguig City may lose their sole means of livelihood with the construction of the P122.8-billion Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike (LLED), a priority project of the Aquino government, beginning next year.

According to Aquilino Causon,  president of the City Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Council—an umbrella organization composed of the 12 fisherfolk communities in the city—the  project calls for the reclamation of 800 hectares of portions of the lake in Taguig and Muntinlupa.

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He warned that this would result in the loss of fishing grounds for 90 fishermen in Barangays San Miguel and Hagonoy, over 100 fishermen in Lower Bicutan and Old Bicutan, and more than 100 fishermen in  Bagumbayan.

Fishermen in the coastal communities of Muntinlupa City would also be affected, Causon told the Inquirer the other day.

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“They won’t be able to fish there anymore. And even their boats will have to be transferred somewhere else,” he added.

Causon said that the government should have conducted a survey first before pushing through with the project to know the sentiments of affected fishermen.

He added that a representative from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) met with them last November although he could not give them any answers when asked about the government’s plans for those who stand to be displaced by the highway cum dike project. Another meeting has been scheduled with the DPWH in March, Causon said.

According to him, the government should consider building a viaduct instead of reclaiming parts of Laguna Lake.

The Inquirer tried to get the side of the DPWH but its Taguig office said that it had no details about the project which is to be undertaken under a public-private partnership program.

With a total project cost of P122.8 billion (P 64.914 billion for the expressway dike and P57.8 for the reclamation project), the LLED is a top priority program of the government and part of the long-term solutions listed in the master plan for flood management in Metro Manila and Laguna province.

President Aquino earlier said that the expressway cum dike, which would stretch from Bicutan/Taguig in Metro Manila all the way to the towns of Calamba and Los Baños in Laguna, would improve the holding capacity of Laguna Lake and improve traffic flow in the coastal communities.

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