Laguna Lakeshore Road Project nixed
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) together with its ally environmental group Save Laguna Lake Movement (SLLM) oppose the Laguna Lakeshore Road Network Project, a proposed road project of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) that would connect Metro Manila to key provincial areas situated along the Laguna de Bay.
The P50-billion road project, according to DPWH, would span 90 kilometers and will link Bicutan in Taguig City to Los Banos, Laguna and several parts of the Rizal province. Its implementation period will start from 2018 to 2026.
For their part, PAMALAKAYA and SLLM said in a joint statement that the road project is a pretext to the Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike Project (LLEDP), a P122.8-billion privatization project that was opposed and thwarted by the fisherfolk, environmentalists, and residents of Laguna de Bay during the term of then-President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino for its disastrous effects to the environment and the fishers.
“The newly-proposed road project in Laguna Lake is nothing but a government’s ploy to complete its longstanding LLEDP dream. Because the LLEDP has been widely exposed to the public of its catastrophic effect to the environment and livelihood of the fisherfolk, the government comes up with a new, different name to pacify the outrage of the people,”
“But we all know that this road project is a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the total conversion of the productive fishing hub of Laguna de Bay into a world-class eco-tourism hub at the cost of socio-economic lives of the fisherfolk and the lake’s rich aquatic resources,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
PAMALAKAYA and SLLM said the LLEDP would effectively wipe out more than 4.9 million fisherfolk and poor residents around the 90-thousand hectare Laguna de Bay. Its components are the 47-kilometer flood-control highway, and the 700-hectare reclamation intended for commercial and mixed use. The project is under the review after its temporary suspension.
“We call for a genuine rehabilitation of Laguna de Bay and not the construction of another highway that will only impede the fishing activities of small-fisherfolk and would further the degradation of the lake,” ended Hicap. ###