Gov’t urged to prevent threat of “rising seas”
Manila, Philippines — As the sector that is the most vulnerable to the devastating effects of climate change, fisherfolk and coastal residents belonging to the group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) appeal to the national government to come up with a holistic and inclusive action plan on how to mitigate, and ultimately, reverse the adverse impacts of climate change.
The fishers group casts fear over the findings produced by the New Jersey-based science organization Climate Central, that in about three decades, areas in the Philippines that are home to around 6.8 million people “will likely be inundated as the sea levels continue to rise.”
While by the end of the 21st century, the study added, land currently occupied by 8.6 million Filipinos could be lower than the height of average annual coastal flood.
“This is the sum of all our fears. Coastal and non-coastal populations are seriously bearing the brunt of the changing climate that mostly affects the seas. The threat of displacement among the fishing sector is being aggravated by the warming climate and this should be seriously and urgently addressed,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson said in a statement.
PAMALAKAYA explains that when oceans absorb most of the excess heat from greenhouse gas emissions, the seawater expands and takes up more space, triggering the rise in water level and consequently engulfing land areas across the globe.
The progressive group pinned the blame of the disastrous climate phenomenon to “profit-oriented projects of global monopoly corporations and capitalist countries” which PAMALAKAYA said are the main players on the “massive destructions” of seas, forests, mountains, and the environment.
The study cited Manila Bay as one of the body of waters that threatens to submerge Metro Manila. PAMALAKAYA said that the threat would most likely to happen due to the ongoing and planned reclamation projects in Manila Bay.
In Cavite province, a south part of Manila Bay, the group elaborated, at least three reclamation activities are ongoing, while numerous reclamation covering a total of 31,000 hectares of Manila Bay are underway, including the the San Miguel Corporation’s Aerotropolis project in Bulacan, and City of Pearl by the Chinese firm UAA Kinming Group Development Corporation.
“The estimates of the scientific study could lead to a high probability if destructive projects in Manila Bay, particularly the reclamation will not stop. These projects are designed for profit and not for public interest, thus, these will only divert flooding to adjacent communities, where marginalized sectors reside. This has been the long outcry of the fisherfolk and residents situated along the Manila Bay, to stop reclamation and pursue genuine rehabilitation,” Hicap, former Anakpawis Partylist solon added.
“One of the crucial ways to solve the global climate crisis is to address its causes and identify who benefits from these. Who are the polluters and plunderers of the environment? Who produces excess carbon and burns fossil fuels that trap the heat into the earth’s surface? These gargantuan acts are not by the common people but by the minority 1% composed of foreign monopoly oligarchs and ruling class. They who rake super-profits from damaging the environment and killing the planet, costing the poor population of damage to life and socio-economic rights, should be decisively held accountable, for the benefit of next generation,” ended Hicap. ###