Month-long protest against San Miguel Airport set
Manila, Philippines — The national alliance of small fisherfolk Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) is set to lead an across-Manila-Bay “anti-aerotropolis campaign”.
“The plan is to mobilize all our local chapters along the stretch of Manila Bay against one of the biggest reclamation projects to hit our historic and precious fishing grounds — the 2,500-hectare San Miguel Airport in Bulacan,” Fernando Hicap, National Chairperson of PAMALAKAYA said in a media forum held at the Merced Bake House in Quezon City on Thursday.
The forum was organized by peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) where peasant leaders announced the month-long nationwide activities of farmers and fishers all over the country in time of October Peasant Month.
Hicap, former Anakpawis Party-list Congressman, said that the San Miguel Corp. (SMC)’s new manila international airport, also known as the Bulacan Aerotropolis, would bring environmental disaster to the ecosystem of Manila Bay because its construction involves dumping and filling of 2,500 hectares of coastal waters and productive fish ponds. The former solon added that mangroves that serve as fish shelter and protection against natural disasters would be massively wiped out, like how the more than 600 mangrove trees were cut in barangay Taliptip, Bulakan town last year, in preparation for the land reclamation.
The fisherfolk group also argued that contrary to the announcement that the airport would start in December, it could not start because the project has yet to acquire an environmental compliance certificate (ECC) from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
“One of the most crucial documents for a project to proceed has yet to be issued to the SMC airport. SMC’s consistent announcements that its groundbreaking project would commence this December were nothing but a wishful thinking,” said Hicap.
Hicap said that the anti-aerotropolis campaign would include mass actions, fora, and indoor and outdoor focused group discussions to heighten the people’s unity and resistance against the environmentally-destructive and plunderous project in Manila Bay. ###