World Environment Day Action | Fishers protested Navotas reclamation project; call for Manila Bay rehabilitation
Manila, Philippines – Fisherfolk from Navotas under the group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) marked the World Environment Day with protest action along their coastal community in Brgy. Tangos, Navotas, City to oppose the ongoing Navotas Boulevard Business Park (NBBP), a project that if completed will entail the demolition of 20,000 fisherfolk and urban settlers and a serious threat to the marine environment.
NBBP is a 650-hectare reclamation project which extends from the Navotas Fishport in the south and to the north in which the area is bounded between Binuangan River and Tangos River. The project is under the National Reclamation Plan (NRP) of the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) and is intended for mixed use.
“We urge the local government of Navotas and President Rodrigo Duterte to put this destructive project on stop. This project violates the economic and civil rights of the fisherfolk who will be displaced from their fishing community,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
Presently, markers and fences are being installed on the shore of Brgy. Tangos in preparation to the project. The fisherfolk fears this will block their fishing boats from going offshore and curtail their fishing activities.
The fisherfolk group said that aside from its socio-economic impact, the NBBP will take a heavy toll to the already dying Manila Bay due to the destructive effect reclamation projects always bring.
“Manila Bay is already destroyed due to the unrestrained reclamation activities since the Philippine Reclamation Authority was created. The ongoing and pending projects under the National Reclamation Plan will further the degradation of Manila Bay,”
“Manila Bay is in dire need of genuine rehabilitation that will bring back its traditional use as fishing zone that will benefit the Filipino fishermen and not for eco-tourism and business hub,” added Hicap.
PRA targets to reclaim more than 40,000 hectares of fishing waters throughout the archipelago including seas, lakes and other inland waters. Manila Bay comprises 2/3 of the project including the NBBP and the Manila Solar City which will begin the construction this year.
PAMALAKAYA calls for the scrapping of all reclamation projects and abolition of the PRA to save the Philippine waters and marine environment from further destruction. ###