As House Bills seek to ban Manila Bay reclamation, Manila Mayor Moreno urged to reciprocate
Manila, Philippines – The national fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) on Monday called on Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso to issue a local ordinance prohibiting any reclamation in Manila Bay in the part of City of Manila, and spearhead a genuine rehabilitation program that would restore the historic bay’s pristine condition and capacity.
The fishers groups’ call was after Deputy Speaker and Pangasinan Rep. Rose Marie “Baby” Arenas filed House Bill 3169 seeking to ban reclamation activities in the entire Manila Bay, which PAMALAKAYA has positively welcomed, saying it would strengthen their legal basis to oppose reclamation projects that would further destroy the ecosystem of Manila Bay, and most of all, would entail demolition of thousands of fishing and coastal families.
The bill also seeks to revoke all reclamation projects that already acquired environmental compliance certificates (ECCs).
Bayan Muna Party-list also refiled House Bill 257 declaring Manila Bay as ‘reclamation-free zone’ to protect its marine resources and the coastal population situated around it.
“Kung tutuusin, hindi na nga dapat umabot na may magsumite pa ng batas para protektahan ang Manila Bay, dahil nauna nang naglabas ng kautusan ang kataas-taasang Korte Suprema noong 2008 na protektahan at muling buhayin ang Manila Bay. Pero lantarang nilalabag ito ng mga nagdaan at kasalukuyang administrasyon sa pamamagitan ng pagbibigay ng puwang sa mga mapanirang proyekto tulad ng reklamasyon,” Fernando Hicap, National Chairperson of PAMALAKAYA said in a statement.
Restoring the Manila Bay without reclamation was one of the campaign promises of Mayro Domagoso during the 2019 midterm polls.
“Nananawagan kami kay Mayor Moreno na tuparin ang pinangako niya noong nakaraang eleksyon na poprotektahan ang Manila Bay laban sa anumang tipo ng reklamasyon, sa pamamagitan ng paglalabas ng lokal na ordinansang mahigpit na ipagbabawal ang reklamasyon sa Manila Bay. Kailangan din ang mahigpit niyang koordinasyon sa mga mamamayan ng Maynila para balangkasin ang isang rehabilitasyon na pakikinabangan ng lahat at ibabalik ang sigla ng Manila Bay bilang isang pangisdaan,” Hicap, former Anakpawis Partylist Representative added.
According to PAMALAKAYA, there are four reclamation projects in Manila that were approved by former Mayor Joseph Estrada; namely, the 417-hectare Horizon Manila Project, the 497.42-hectare New Manila Bay International Community, 148-hectare Manila Solar City Project, and the 50-hectare expansion of Manila Harbour Center in Tondo. ###