They said the Chief Executive then instructed the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) to implement the no-build zone policy effectively banning the small fishermen and other residents from returning to their fishing villages. The policy likewise bans coastal people from building houses and settlements near the coastlines and forty meters (40 meters) away from the shoreline.
According to Pamalakaya officialss, the national policy is not even supported by any legal instrument or written memorandum like an Executive Order (EO) or Administrative Order (AO) from the Office of the President was followed and bolstered by the passage of Tacloban City ordinance employing the same against the collective will and sentiment of affected fishermen and the rest of the survivors of storm Yolanda.
“The same policy even emboldened other local government officials to follow the path of the President and local officials of Tacloban City and Eastern Visayas. For instance, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG ) secretary Manuel Roxas II, who previously expressed apprehension against the No-Build Zone Policy, executed the policy in Capiz and effectively stopped small fishing activities of coastal people and barred the same from returning to their villages,” said Pamalakaya.
Pamalakaya told Secretary de Lima that the No-Build Zone Policy will even be extended up to 200 meters from the shoreline, and this would entail the complete wipe out of all fishing activities and grand displacement of coastal settlers all over Region VIII and other Yolanda stricken areas in the Visayas.
In their dialogue late February with DENR, the group found out that No-Build Zone Policy will be carried out to give way to eco-tourism projects of the national government under the Public –Private Partnership (PPP) and other big ticket undertakings to be financed by big business groups.
“Madam Secretary, to give you an idea on how this no-build zone policy would impact the economic life and community rights of the people, we cite to you the case of other areas affected by typhoon Yolanda and the Habagat in 2013 and typhoon Ondoy in 2009, which the same policy will be imposed upon communities.
The policy will also cover the areas of Manila Bay from Cavite to Bataan in Central Luzon and all towns surrounding Laguna Lake and it will entail the possible displacement of more than 6 million people in Manila Bay and 3.9 million around the 90,000 hectare Laguna de Bay. This catastrophic prediction will be rendered by the national policy on no-build, no-dwell zone program of the Aquino government,” the group said.
Pamalakaya said the no-build zone, no-dwell zone policy applies to all 171 cities and municipalities, which the national government and the DENR collapsed into 24 areas of intervention.
Likewise in their letter to Secretary de Lima, Pamalakaya recommended the filing of appropriate charges against President Benigno Simeon Aquino III, Rehabilitation Chief Panfilo Lacson, DILG Secretary Manuel Roxas, DENR Secretary Ramon Paje, DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson, DND Secretary and NDRRMC chief Voltaire Gazmin, DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman, DOE Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla and local government officials of Tacloban City for sheer incompetence and neglect. ###