Fishers warn of Chinese encroachment in Dumaguete waters

Manila, Philippines — “All the more reason to oppose this reclamation project that would involve a Chinese construction firm as this may be a prelude to another takeover of our waters and plunder of marine resources,” according to the national fishers’ group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) on Monday, expressing strong opposition against the proposed 174-hectare reclamation in Dumaguete City which would involve China-based construction firm Poly Changda Overseas Engineering Co.

In a statement, PAMALAKAYA warned “sellout of pristine marine waters to China”, which is known to be plundering the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone in the West Philippine Sea.

“The environmental catastrophe that the reclamation project would bring to the marine ecosystem is one thing, but having a Chinese firm as its subcontractor is quite another. We all know how China rampantly occupies our exclusive economic zone and exploits our marine resources at the expense of the livelihood of our fisherfolks and the national patrimony,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson said in a statement.

The fishers’ group earlier added its voice to the growing opposition against the Dumaguete reclamation project due to devastating impacts to the marine environment, coastal communities, and local fish supply.

“Having China in the picture makes the Dumaguete reclamation project not only an environmental and socio-economic concerns, but also a matter of national patrimony. This is not development, this is profit-driven project and foreign takeover in disguise,” Hicap, former Anakpawis Party-list solon added.

Lastly, PAMALAKAYA said it will unite the local fishing communities with the environmental and science sectors in opposing the destructive reclamation project, and the “creeping Chinese encroachment” of different part of the Philippine seas.

“Akin with how we resist Chinese incursion in the West Philippine Sea, we will expose and oppose this apparently new wave of Chinese plunder and encroachment in the Philippine waters,” ended Hicap. ###

Photo by “NoTo174Dumaguete” Coalition.

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