Cordova reclamation to displace 2,000 fisherfolk – fisherfolk group
CEBU CITY, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Monday warned President Rodrigo Duterte and the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) on the implications of the reclamation project in Cordova, Cebu which will cover about 1,500 hectares of coastal waters in the 3rd class municipality in the province.
The reclamation project, which costs P138-B as proposed by Herny Sy-owned SM Prime Holdings Inc. is supposed to start next year and would be completed for 8 years. But due to technicalities, the project faces snag during then-President Benigno Aquino as it doesn’t comply with the process set by the PRA. But the SM Prime Holdings said it will push through the reclamation project under the new administration. It was also one of the biggest Public-Private Partnership (PPP) projects under then-President Aquino, a privatization scheme also adopted by President Rodrigo Duterte.
49% of the reclaimed land will go to SM Prime Holdings while the remaining 50% will be for the municipality of Cordova and the PRA.
Under the current administration, the project has no budget allocation but it is still one of the PPP’s pending projects, including the Laguna Lake Expressway Dike Project (LLEDP) and other reclamation projects that were temporarily terminated last administration.
The fisherfolk group said that the reclamation project will eject 2,000 fisherfolk families from Cordova which rely on the fishing ground that is a target for reclamation.
“If the reclamation project will be pushed through, no less than the 2,000 fisherfolk families will be erased from the map of Cordova’s coastal communities. This is another grand-sell out of our coastal waters to private investors at the cost of displacing the fisherfolk from their livelihood and shelter,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
PAMALAKAYA lashed out at Henry Sy and all his developing arms for persistently reclaiming coastal communities into their business ventures.
“Henry Sy is on a roll in grabbing the lands and coastal community of our fishers and wreaking havoc to their livelihood. The country’s richest business tycoon is very notorious in displacing fisherfolk and poor families from coastal communities to pave way for his SM and high-rise condominium chains courtesy of government’s guarantee and full support,”
“We demand to President Duterte to reject all the PPP projects especially those involved with reclamation and conversion of fishing villages and waters that pose negative impacts on the economic and social rights of the fisherfolk and direct assault to the fragile marine environment and aquatic resources,” Hicap ended. ###