Local fisherfolk decry “China-like” reclamation operations in Bacoor
Bacoor, Cavite – The Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) raised concerns on the issue of a reclamation project on a fishpond connected to Manila Bay and adjacent to the public cemetery in Bacoor City, Cavite. Local fisherfolk members of Pamalakaya-Cavite reported that heavy equipments are dumping debris on the fishpond but no information is posted on whether it is a public works project or a private construction activity.
“Nireport ito ng mga myembro namin sa Bacoor, dahil mukhang pa-sekreto, walang project details or building permit number, at sa gabi sila gumagawa, halos kahawig ng kung paano nag-reclaim ang China sa West Philippine Sea, patago at mabilisan,” Pamalakaya National Chairperson Fernando “Ka Pando” Hicap said in a press statement.
(This was reported by our members as it appears dubious, there was no project details nor building permit number, and they operate during the night. It is akin to how China reclaimed parts of the West Philippine Sea, in secret and fast-paced.)
Hicap said that this is a serious incident given that the proposed 420-hectare Bacoor Reclamation Project was exposed at the senate and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) officials committed to cancel the project. It is also detrimental to the Supreme Court mandamus to rehabilitate Manila Bay and the DENR’s program.
“Nasisingil na nga ang DENR sa Manila Bay rehabilitation dahil sa fish kill at nagpapakaabala silang i-clear ang mga waterways patungong Manila Bay, tapos may ganito sa Bacoor, kabaligtaran ng pag-clear, kundi pagtambak pa,” he added.
(The DENR is already on the hot seat because of the Manila Bay rehabilitation program and the recent fish kill, they are busy with clearing the waterways towards the bay, then we are seeing this, an opposite project, dumping of debris.)
The fisherfolk leader raised concern that if this is a public works project, it lacked the required publication of project details as to what it is, when and where should it be finished, how much it is worth and who is the contractor, and prior consultation to directly-affected sectors. He asserted that even if this is a private activity, it should be required with environmental compliance as the Bacoor Bay is an environmentally critical area as declared by the DENR.
“Sana ay bigyang linaw ito ng Bacoor local government at dinggin ang panawagan ng mamamayan na itigil na ito. Huwag na sanang lumaki ang isyung ito, at baka matulak pa sila mag-file ng kaso sa Ombudsman kung sakali,” he warned.
(We hope the Bacoor local government could clarify this issue and heed the people’s demand to discontinue it. This issue should not escalate, like for the people to be pressed into filing cases, such as to the Ombudsman office or others.)