PAMALAKAYA assails Bacoor’s Revilla for pushing reclamation during pandemic
Manila, Philippines — The militant fishers group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) on Thursday slammed the Bacoor city government for “using and abusing” the pandemic to push through with its reclamation project.
The local government of Bacoor City through its Mayor Lani Mercado-Revilla has been pushing to reclaim 420 hectares of Manila Bay for mixed and commercial use. The first phase of the project, which is the 320-hectare Bacoor Reclamation and Development Project has already acquired an environmental compliance certificate (ECC) from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on March. However, the ECC issued with the reference code ECC-CO-1909-0023 stated that the certificate “does not any right nor shall be used as an authorization to implement the project”.
Yesterday, members of PAMALAKAYA in Bacoor City reported and documented a backhoe installing a metal fence off the waters which will be covered by the reclamation project.
PAMALAKAYA said that the activity appears dubious as no information is disclosed to the public and no public consultation nor announcement was conducted.
“We firmly oppose this reclamation as it would entail massive displacement of fishing and coastal families along the shorelines of Bacoor City, a contradiction to the stay-at-home policy being imposed by the national government during the pandemic,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson said in a statement.
Earlier this year, PAMALAKAYA lodged a complaint against Mayor Revilla before the Office of the Ombudsman over environmental violations. The fishers group said that the former actress-turned-politician has yet to respond to their complaint.
“Reclamation will hasten the death of Manila Bay which is currently under the intensive care unit and in full environmental comatose. That undertaking by design and by orientation, and by law is against the Supreme Court mandamus on Manila Bay, and even with the Malacanang’s rehabilitation campaign,” Hicap, former Anakpawis Party-list Representative added in a statement.
For her part, Myrna Candinato, President of PAMALAKAYA-Bacoor, slated Mayor Revilla for “spearheading the destruction of Manila Bay environment and demolition of more than 700 fishing and urban poor families” in the town.
“This project is a curse. It will not only kill our livelihood. The Bacoor reclamation project is also meant to remove us from our communities. Where we will be go from here? Our government is not after our rights and welfare. It is only after the interest of big investors and real estate money makers in exchange for fat kickbacks,” Candinato said. ###