Sy’s SM Group threatens people’s right to famous Manila Bay sunset – fisherfolk
Manila, Philippines – “Discontented of displacing thousands of fishing and urban poor families, Henry Sy is now transforming the reclaimed lands in Manila Bay into his money-making ventures real quick,” According to the militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) assailing the deal of Henry Sy’s SM Group to the UK-based investment fund Ashmore to build a seafront residential condominium towers situated between the SM Mall of Asia and the Solaire Resort and Casino.
The group belied the claim of Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) on the necessity of land reclamations to promote economic development through building industries that would generate jobs for Filipinos. Instead, commercial business districts (CBD) that only benefit giant developers sprout like mushrooms in reclaimed lands that were once a home to thousands of fishing families.
PAMALAKAYA said the construction of SM Mall of Asia and central business district on Roxas Boulevard in 2004 had effectively displaced more than 30,000 fisherfolk and urban poor settlers.
“The Henry Sy Empire should refrain from establishing a republic of SM in Manila Bay. Manila Bay is not for sale and it is owned by the Filipino people. Henry Sy is fast converting thousands of hectares of productive fishing communities into his money-making business at the expense of the community and fishing rights of small-fisherfolk,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
The group also said the construction of another condominium in Manila Bay would eradicate prime sunset viewing on Manila Bay which serves as pastime for residents who want to unwind from the toxics of the highly polluted city.
“Manila Bay deserves to be liberated from any corporate exploitation and plunder because aside from eliminating the prime sunset viewing, these corporate projects will result to total devastation of the Manila Bay that is also a major source of livelihood of millions of small fisherfolk from Metro Manila, province of Cavite, and Central Luzon region,” added Hicap.
PAMALAKAYA calls on environmentalists, broad sectors, and other sunset-loving Filipinos to forge unity with the fisherfolk and strongly oppose the grandiose plan of Henry Sy to convert the productive Manila Bay into his business hub. ###