In the commencement of 2016: fisherfolk vows to boost defiance against Laguna Lake Road Dike
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya-Pilipinas) vows to launch various of intensified defiance against the Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike Project (LLEDP).
The LLEDP which is one of President Aquino’s biggest Public-Private Partnership (PPP) project which costs P122.8B has two components – a construction of 47-kilometer expressway road dike from Los Banos, Laguna to Muntinlupa, Taguig; and reclamation of 700 hectares for commercial and mixed use. But the project’s bid deadline has been moved several times due to the project’s complexities and interested bidders concerns.
“This 2016, fisherfolk will face one of its worst nightmares that will kill their sector. The monstrous LLEDP will soon to start and millions of fisherfolk and urban poor families around Laguna de Bay will be displaced from their communities and livelihoods. The LLEDP will also bring completely death to the lake and millions of Filipinos directly and indirectly depending on its rich waters will also be affected.” Salvador France, Pamalakaya Vice-Chairperson said in a statement.
Pamalakaya said that approximately 3.9 million fisherfolk and urban poor families in Los Banos, Laguna and Muntinlupa, Taguig will be affected once the project has been started. Also, fish supply in Metro Manila will be affected because 40% of its fish came from Laguna de Bay.
“The LLEDP is not a development but a destructive project meant to kill the productive waters of Laguna de Bay to pave way to commercial projects that will benefit only the business tycoons like those of Sy, Ayala, Aboitiz and other influential conglomerates interested in the project. The fisherfolk and the urban poor who enriched the lake before are being set aside and excluded from the development.” France said.
The fisherfolk group said that the LLEDP is just the first phase of transforming the Lagua de Bay into eco-tourism zone. The Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) planned to construct a road dike all around the 90-hectare Laguna de Bay and a widespread reclamation for the construction of commercial and mixed use.
“The whole 2016 will be an escalating battle for the fisherfolk for we will engage in symbolic and dramatic actions in different forms against this murderous LLEDP until it is completely derailed. It’s been a long-standing call of the fisherfolk to genuinely rehabilitate the Laguna de Bay and bring back its natural wealth the way it was before.” France ended.