PAMALAKAYA fisherfolk storm Bacoor public hearing on reclamation
Bacoor City, Cavite – Leaders and members of the municipal chapter of the national fishers group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) stormed the public hearing conducted by the Bacoor City local government unit (LGU) on Thursday, for the reclamation of 420 hectares of the city’s municipal waters in Manila Bay.
During the public hearing, Bacoor City Mayor Lani Mercado-Revilla presented the full details of the project before hundreds of residents who will be affected by the reclamation. The affected residents, mostly fishers and coastal settlers are set to relocate in non-coastal areas such as in Naic, Cavite and Molino in Bacoor.
For their part, the Alyansa ng mga Magdaragat sa Bacoor Bay, PAMALAKAYA’s municipal chapter, decried the reclamation and transformation of their fishing community into “business and commercial hub.”
Joel Falcis, Spokesperson of Alyansa ng mga Magdaragat sa Bacoor Bay and a fisherman in Manila Bay for almost 40 years, told Mayor Mercado-Revilla that “she can’t just arbitrarily uproot the lives of tens of thousands of fisherfolk by relocating them to areas far from their source of livelihood.”
“Our collective and humble appeal to our Mayor is to reconsider her decision to eject us from our fishing community to pave way for private establishments that are no benefit from her constituents,” Falcis said.
Meanwhile, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson and former Anakpawis Party-list legislator Fernando Hicap slated the Bacoor LGU for pushing through with the reclamation, amid the wide outcry from advocates and warning of environmental experts on the devastating effects that the dump and fill could bring to the marine ecosystem.
The former solon and fisherfolk leader also warned the Bacoor local executives of ton-loads of charges if they proceed with reclamation, as it will be violative to the 2008 Supreme Court Mandamus directing concerned government agencies to rehabilitate and restore Manila Bay, sans reclamation.
“We will not hesitate to file administrative charges against Mayor Revilla and other execs if they push through with the reclamation that runs contrary even to the Duterte administration’s rehabilitation drive of Manila Bay,”
He also said that the Manila Bay Rehabilitation Program of the Duterte government, being led by Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu, appears to be sham as reclamation projects or projects that directly destroy the marine environment and biodiversity, as well as obvious total hindrance to the Supreme Court order for the bay to be for the purpose of people’s recreation, continued to be considered by various local government units, amid the agency’s inaction.
Last year, members of PAMALAKAYA had filed a formal complaint to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) regarding the three ongoing reclamation activities in Cavite, namely, the reclamation in Sangley Point in Cavite City, reclamation for a Chinese-complex in Kawit, Cavite, and the reclamation of a fishpond adjacent to Manila Bay in Bacoor City. ###