SMC’s airport project in Bulacan contradicts DENR’s Oplan for Manila Bay coastal strategy – fishers group

SMC’s airport project in Bulacan contradicts DENR’s Oplan for Manila Bay coastal strategy – fishers group

Manila, Philippines – Amid San Miguel Corporation’s (SMC) sustained drum beating of its proposed New Manila International Airport (NMIA) and 2,500-hectare Aerotropolis in Bulacan, the Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) stressed that it contradicts the Duterte administration’s Operational Plan for Manila Bay Coastal Strategy (OPMBCS) which is being implemented by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The plan is also legally based to the Supreme Court mandamus for Manila Bay rehabilitation, or to restore and maintain its waters fit for swimming and recreation and fishery resources development.

“SMC’s NMIA or Aerotropolis project is literally a contradiction in terms of the Duterte administration’s posturing to carry out the Supreme Court mandamus to rehabilitate Manila Bay, and its actual plan being led by the DENR,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson and former representative of Anakpawis Party-list said in a press statement.

He added that the Environmental Management Bureau’s (EMB) approval of the environmental compliance of the 2,500-hectare reclamation and land development project of Silvertides Holdings, a contractor of SMC is also contradictory to the plan.

“The plan set on its goals and priorities, protection of shoreline features and conservation of biological resources. So how could those be still possible if the reclamation pushes through. It would also run counter to the Supreme Court mandamus, as obviously, the waters would be off-limits to recreation and fishery activities,” Hicap said.

Hicap also accented that the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) promotion of the project, finalizing its deal with the SMC and claiming construction could begin in December, has been faced with silent treatment of the DENR.

“Mukhang mas mahina si Secretary Cimatu kontra kay Tugade, dahil nanahimik siya, kahit na mismong programa na ng kanyang departamento ang sinasagasaan. Kapag natuloy ito, kasama siya sa mananagot, at papatunayan lang nilang isang malaking gimik lang ang Manila Bay rehabilitation,” Hicap ended. ###

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