Fishers warn Cavite local execs against defying SC order on Manila Bay
Manila, Philippines – The national fishers’ group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) has called on the local officials of Cavite to look into the installation of steel pile revetment along the shores of Manila Bay in the part of Bacoor City, which the group said is part of the 420-hectare reclamation project proposed by the town’s local government together with the Frabelle Fishing Corporation.
In a statement, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson and former Anakpawis Party-list Representative Fernando Hicap said that local executives of Cavite “risk of violating” the Supreme Court mandamus if they would not halt reclamation projects in the province.
PAMALAKAYA’s Hicap was referring to the 2008 SC mandamus directing various government agencies, to be led by the Department of Environment and National Resources (DENR), to restore and rehabilitate the Manila Bay. PAMALAKAYA said that reclamation was never part of the rehabilitation, thus a violation of the mandamus.
“The local execs of Cavite are at risk of violating the highest court’s order to protect and restore the fishing waters of Manila Bay if they will not cease and desist from pursuing destructive reclamation projects. We are demanding Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla to heed his constituents in coastal areas to stop dump-filling the Manila Bay that will result to their displacement and destruction of fishing grounds,” Hicap said.
PAMALAKAYA said that Bacoor City local government’s “ambitious” reclamation project is set to destroy 420 hectares of the town’s productive fishing grounds, including mussel (tahong) and oyster (talaba) farms hcih the coastal city has been famous of.
“If this project pushes through, it would kill the town’s tahong and talaba industry. Moreover, it will wipeout a large number of fishing population who subsist in Manila Bay’s fishing waters by fishing and shellfish farming,” Hicap warned.
The fishers’ group said that it will hold Cavite local government accountable if massive destruction and displacement of environment and the fisherfolk proceed. ###
Photos by SAKA Fisherfolk Desk.