PAMALAKAYA hits granting of ‘tax incentives’ for San Miguel’s Bulacan airport
Manila, Philippines — The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) on Wednesday slammed the House Committee on Ways and Means for granting tax incentives to San Miguel Aerocity Inc.’s airport project during its 10-year construction in Bulakan, Bulacan.
50-year franchise for the airport project is also proposed.
The San Miguel Aerocity Inc. is a subsidiary of Ramon Ang’s San Miguel Corp. (SMC) which is pushing to construct 2,500-hectare airport, dubbed as “aerotropolis” in Manila Bay covering the coastal waters of Bulacan.
In a statement sent to media outfits, PAMALAKAYA slammed the Congress’ committee ways and means for facilitating the franchise, and even granting tax incentives, to the project, which the fisherfolk group said would involve reclamation and massive displacement of fishing and coastal families from at least 4 fishing villages of Bulakan town.
The fishers group said residents, mostly subsist in Manila Bay by fishing, from barangays Taliptip, Bambang, Perez, and Bagumbayan in Bulakan would be directly impacted by the airport project.
“More than 20, 000 fishing and coastal families will be forcibly ejected from their communities to pave way for an airport. Worse is the demolition will occur in the midst of a pandemic, where the government is strictly enforcing a stay-at-home policy,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson said in a statement.
PAMALAKAYA also slated the Congress congress for violating the Supreme Court Mandamus directing several government agencies to restore and rehabilitate the Manila Bay.
“The legislators who facilitate the deliberation of the airport’s franchise is violating the highest court’s order to rehabilitate Manila Bay sans reclamation. They should be held accountable if this environmentally-destructive project takes place and if thousands of fishing families will be demolished,” Hicap, former Anakpawis Party-list Representative during the 16th Congress added.
PAMALAKAYA’s Hicap questioned the legislators’ knowledge on the project, doubting that the congress has even “conducted check and studied its environmental and social impacts”.
“Did the congress even consult the directly and indirectly affected stakeholders of the airport? We highly doubt because this project has already received rounds of criticism and opposition both from the fishing sector and scientist and environmental experts,” ended Hicap. ###