Manila Bay reclamation
Bacoor fishers slam Mayor Lani Revilla for preventing fire-victims to return home
Manila, Philippines – The municipal chapter of the fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) in Bacoor, Cavite denounces City Mayor Lani Mercado-Revilla for preventing the fire-affected residents and fishers from returning to their community that was ravaged by a blaze last week.
In June 20, barangays Maliksi I and Maliksi 3 in Bacoor, both fishing communities along the river side, were hit by a fire – 300 houses were heavily destroyed, displacing 500 households.
According to Alyansa ng mga Magdaragat sa Bacoor Cavite Inc. (ALYANSA), PAMALAKAYA’s municipal chapter, there is a standing order from the local government through Mayor Lani Mercado-Revilla to restrict residents from returning to their communities and continue their livelihood. Some of the victims are fisherfolk who rely on Manila Bay as a source of living.
Myrna Candinato, President of ALYANSA, said Mayor Mercado-Revilla offered only P20, 000 to each of the family but without relocation. Candinato pointed out that there is an approved reclamation project in the city to convert its coastal community from productive fishing waters to commercial and mixed-use district. PAMALAKAYA claims the reclamation project will effectively displace almost 7, 000 fishing families and urban poor settlers.
“First of all, we don’t buy the idea that the community was accidentally hit by a blaze. We all know that deliberately burning down communities has been the most inexpensive yet effective tactic of the government to demolish a community that is a target for conversion and development aggression,” Candinato said in a statement.
Stop wall-installation in Navotas, Congressman Tiangco urged
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Tuesday urged Navotas City Representative Tobias “Toby” Tiangco to order a stop on the installation of fences and markers along the shoreline of Navotas City as part of the Navotas Boulevard Business Park (NBBP) reclamation project.
The Navotas Boulevard Business Park (NBBP) is a 650-hectare reclamation project in Navotas City intended for commercial and mixed use.
In a statement, PAMALAKAYA accused the Tiangco clans of conniving with the Triple One Construction, the proponent of the reclamation project, to eliminate and replace more than 20,000 fishing families with eco-tourism zones.
“It seems that my former colleague in the Congress has already entered a done deal with the proponent of the Navotas reclamation. There is something fishy with the town’s local political clan because until now, they have yet to give any comment on the calls of the Navotas fisherfolk to put a stop on the reclamation project,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson and former Anakpawis Party-list solon said in a statement.
The group claimed that the Tiangco clan is behind the spate of harassments led by the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) among their local members. Elements of MARINA have been conducting house-to-house operations threatening PAMALAKAYA leaders and members not to attend organizational activities or else their fishing boats will be impounded by the authority.
“Tiangco is using the MARINA to impose fear among the fisherfolk and Navotas residents who exercise their constitutional freedom to assembly and those who defend their rights to fishing waters. We strongly condemn Congressman Tiangco and his brother City Mayor John Rey Tiangco at the strongest terms,”
“Congressman Tiangco is all wrong if he thinks that threatening the fisherfolk would stop them to fight for what is rightfully theirs; we will heighten our unity and resistance against the destructive reclamation project in Navotas and in the whole Manila Bay,” ended Hicap. ###
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. ###