Reject revival of Laguna lake mega dike project – fisherfolk to new DPWH Chief
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya-Pilipinas) urged the incoming Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar to block the revival of the terminated Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike Project (LLEDP) under the incoming Duterte administration.
The LLEDP was outgoing President Aquino’s biggest project under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program amounting to P123B. It has two components – a 47 kilometer expressway dike that will start from Muntinlupa, Taguig to Los Banos, Laguna; and the 700 hectare reclamation for mixed use. The project was terminated during Aquino’s term due to bidders’ several concerns and strong resistance from fisherfolk and residents living along the lake.
The DPWH, one of the implementing agencies of the LLEDP, earlier said that they will revive the project during the incoming administration as this is a crucial project in Laguna de Bay.
Noting that Secretary Villar’s family firm was one of the qualified bidders of the defunct project, Pamalakaya said, all the more reason for the newly appointed Secretary to obstruct any attempt to reinstall the project.
”He must disprove that his appointment to the DPWH post will give his family’s business interests’ advantage by tightening the noose on any attempt at reviving the LLEDP, and all the reclamation projects that are destructive to the fishers and the environment.” Salvador France, Pamalakaya vice-chairperson said in a statement.
The fisherfolk group claimed that around 3.9 million fisherfolk and urban poor families will be gravely affected if the LLEDP is pursued. This will also put the dying lake into its final death bed. ###