Senate urged to deny legislative franchise for Bulacan airport project

Senate urged to deny legislative franchise for Bulacan airport project

Manila, Philippines — The militant fishers group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) on Wednesday asked the Senate to deny any measures for a legislative franchise for the San Miguel Corp. (SMC) international project in Bulakan, Bulacan.

The House of Representatives has already approved on 2nd reading a franchise for SMC’s subsidiary San Miguel Aerocity, Inc. to operate the 2,500-hectare aerotropolis project, dubbed as ‘New Manila International Airport’.

PAMALAKAYA argued that the project would directly impact at least 700 fishing and coastal families in four coastal barangays in Bulakan, Bulacan; namely, Taliptip, Bambang, Perez, and Bagumbayan.

Aside from the social and economic impact, the fishers group added, the project, which would involve reclamation of Manila Bay, poses lethal risk to the environment.

“In the name of the basic rights of hundreds of fishing families in Bulacan and the fragile marine ecosystem of Manila Bay, we urge the Senate reject and deny any legislative measures granting franchise to the disastrous project,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson said in a statement.

The fishers group also raised the geophysical hazards of the project, as established by geological experts such as Chicago-based geologist Dr. Kelvin Rodolfo.

Dr. Rodolfo has identified three geological hazards of reclamation that are relevant to the country’s situation; namely, the danger of land subsidence, danger of storm surge and strong waves caused by typhoon, and danger from seismically induced liquefaction.

“This project will undoubtedly destroy the ecosystem of Manila Bay, which runs contrary to the national government’s supposed rehabilitation program. Moreover, it will wipe out hundreds of fishing families who subsist in the productive waters of Manila Bay by catching and culturing various types of fish, crabs, and shellfish,” ended Hicap. ###

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