Dumaguete ‘smart city’ project is dumb – fishers’ group

In a statement, PAMALAKAYA cited the data of marine scientists and environmentalists based in Dumaguete City that the P23-billion reclamation project threatens 60% of the coral reefs covering 36 hectares. Also affected would be 65% of the seagrass ecosystem of the city and at least 20 types of mangroves which serve as fish habitat and crucial in maintaining the ecological balance. Furthermore, the reclamation would affect four marine protected areas (MPA) covering 104 hectares of the coastal waters.

“How could it be a smart city when the project will replace the pristine marine environment and productive fishing grounds with a foreign-operated business and commercial empire? There is nothing smart with wiping out coral reefs and seagrasses that shelter at least 200 fish species including those considered as ecological importance and are indicators of a healthy marine life. Moreover, this smart city will never bring any development and benefits to the people of Dumaguete but permanent devastation to their livelihood and environment,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson said in a statement.

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Fishers warn of Chinese encroachment in Dumaguete waters

“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.

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