DENR slammed for issuing ECC to Bulacan Aerotropolis
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) on Monday slammed the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for providing environmental compliance certificate (ECC) to San Miguel Corporation’s (SMC) P700-billion Bulacan Aerotropolis, a reclamation project that will be constructed in the 2,500-hectare coastal waters in Bulakan, Bulacan. The group recorded around 700 fishing and coastal families in seven sitios of Barangay Taliptip in Bulakan are under the threat of displacement to pave way for the aerotropolis.
The fisherfolk group said Bulacan Aerotropolis is the 4th reclamation project to be given an environmental permit by the DENR. Others projects that has already acquired an ECC include the 419-hectare Horizon Manila Project, the 148-hectare Manila Solar City, and the 318-hectare Manila Waterfront Project.
“How ironic that the agency that leads the task force to rehabilitate Manila Bay is the one giving a go signal to reclamation projects that will effectively destroy the environment,” Bobby Roldan, PAMALAKAYA Vice Chairperson for Luzon said in a statement.
More than 600 mangrove trees were already cleared in Barangay Taliptip where the airport will be built. Based on the Coastal Resources Management Project Conducted by scientist group AGHAM, at least 670 kilos of fish catch will be lost for every hectare of mangrove that will be destroyed. PAMALAKAYA also cited the existing 25-hectare fishing reservation areas established by the DENR itself across Taliptip’s coastal waters.
“25 hectares of fishing reservation areas are at stake courtesy of land reclamation of SMC; this also means loss of traditional fish species and depletion of fish catch by small fisherfolk in the entire province of Bulacan. On top of the existing fishing reservations, Manila Bay is currently undergoing a massive rehabilitation program by the government and building infrastructures through dumping landfills will defeat the purpose of restoring its pristine state,” added Roldan.
“We reiterate our call to revoke all the ECCs issued to reclamation projects in Manila Bay and promote a genuine rehabilitation program that will restore its traditional use as communal fishing grounds,” ended Roldan. ###