Fishers welcome DENR position on Bacoor reclamation, urge local exec to comply accordingly

Fishers welcome DENR position on Bacoor reclamation, urge local exec to comply accordingly

Manila, Philippines — The national fishers group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) welcomes the position of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) against the reclamation project in Bacoor City, Cavite, which the group, said would displace more than 700 fishing and coastal families, and would result to massive flooding in Bacoor and other neighboring towns not only in Cavite, but also in the Southern part of Metro Manila.

“We warmly welcome the positive stand of the DENR not to issue an environmental compliance certificate (ECC) to the 944-hectare Bacoor reclamation project. The pronouncement was a welcome development not only for the fisherfolk and poor families whose livelihood and communities are under threat, but also to the ecosystem of our historic natural harbor and the mussel (tahong) industry of Bacoor because it will be spared from the destructive impacts of reclamation,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson said in a statement.

The fisherfolk group advised the Bacoor local government to abide by the DENR’s decision and adhere to the Supreme Court mandamus to rehabilitate Manila Bay, on which the local governments are supposed to be cooperating with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in restoring marine life and developing the fisheries and aquatic resources.

“We urge Bacoor Mayor Lani Mercado-Revilla to comply with the DENR’s decision accordingly; drop everything that has something to do with the dumping and filling of Manila Bay and its transformation into commercial and business hub. Instead, support the livelihood of thousands of tahong growers in a form of subsidy and aid, and be part of the ongoing campaign to restore and rehabilitate the Manila Bay,” Hicap, former Anakpawis Partylist Representative added.

“Any reclamation project in Manila Bay is violative of the Supreme Court mandamus, which aims to restore and maintain the waters appropriate for swimming and fishery activities. Reclamation is against the wisdom of the decision,” Hicap concluded.

Reclamation projects are issues of concern as pointed out by the Operational Plan for the Manila Bay Coastal Strategy (OPMBCS) being implemented by the DENR, as they transform the shoreline of Manila Bay and displace fisherfolk communities. ###

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