Fisherfolk asks Manila Mayor Estrada to revoke approved reclamation projects in Manila Bay
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Thursday warned Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada on his incessant approval of reclamation projects in Manila Bay that would endanger its marine life and the fisherfolk and urban settlers who depend on the gulf as primary source of livelihood.
Manila Mayor Estrada has approved the Horizon Manila project which covers 417 hectares of Manila Bay. The project which is intended for commercial and mixed use costs P100-billion and touted as Manila’s biggest land reclamation project. Its proponent is the real estate firm J-Bros Construction Corp.
The project is the fourth reclamation project to be given blessing by the Manila Mayor over the last six months. The other three are the 407.42-hectare New Manila Bay International community – dubbed as “city within a city”, the 148-hectare Manila Solar City project, and the 50-hectare expansion of Manila Harbour Centre in Tondo.
“We call on Manila Mayor Estrada to rescind all its agreements with the proponents of the reclamation projects in Manila Bay in order to save the city and the body of water from degradation and disaster,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
PAMALAKAYA warns Mayor Estrada that the approved projects will aggravate the flash floods and other devastated effects of natural disasters in Metro Manila. The fisherfolk group said rampant reclamation activities over the years have made the Manila Bay vulnerable to storm surges because the movement and natural flow of its waters have changed.
“Despite deterioration, Manila Bay remains a productive fishing hub and settlement for fisherfolk and urban poor in Metro Manila, some provinces of Central Luzon and Southern Tagalog. It must be spared from any destructive project that will convert its traditional fishing zone into gambling and entertainment hub,” ended Hicap.
The memorandum of understanding (MOU) of the project was signed on June 1 by Mayor Estrada together with Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) board chairman Alberto Agra and general manager Janito Rubiato and J-Bros President Jesusito Legaspi Jr. ###