Declare Manila Bay as ‘reclamation-free zone’, Duterte dared
Manila, Philippines – “If President Duterte is really opposed to reclamation projects in Manila Bay, then he should look into the dump and fill activities that are already ongoing and processing in the ground. And hold local government officials accountable for pushing through with the reclamation project that contradicts the national government’s rehabilitation campaign,” This was the reaction of the national fishers’ group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) on Tuesday, finding the statement of President Rodrigo Duterte against Manila Bay reclamation ‘agreeable’.
PAMALAKAYA said that the objection of President Duterte to reclamation projects is a ‘direct contradiction’ to the moves of local government units (LGUs) and other government agencies that are tasked to rehabilitate the Manila Bay. In Bacoor City, the local execs are already railroading the 420-hectare reclamation of its municipal waters intended for commercial and mixed use, while in Brgy. Taliptip in Bulakan town, Bulacan, the groundbreaking ceremony for the 2,500-hectare ‘aerotropolis’ project of the San Miguel Corp. (SMC) is set for tomorrow.
The fisherfolk group said that there is no legal basis to proceed with reclamation projects in Manila Bay as it would violate several laws including the Philippine Fisheries Code, the Duterte administration’s rehabilitation program, and most especially the Supreme Court ruling on Manila Bay.
“We are challenging President Duterte to hold the local execs and government agencies who are fast-tracking reclamation projects accountable for violating his Administrative Order No. 16 that created the Task Force Manila Bay and invoking the 2008 Supreme Court Mandamus to clean-up, restore, and rehabilitate the historic Manila Bay for human recreation and fishery development use,” Hicap, a former Anakpawis Partylist solon.
“Aside from the administrative order for rehabilitation of Manila Bay, we ultimately challenge President Duterte to issue an executive order specifically prohibiting any reclamation projects across Manila Bay in the name of a genuine rehabilitation,” ended Hicap. ###