Fishers group says Cavite province’s Manila Bay reclamation project violates SC order

Published October 19, 2020, 2:25 PM

by Raymund Antonio

A local fishers group has called the attention of Cavite local officials about the 420-hectare reclamation project in Manila Bay for alleged violation of a Supreme Court order.

The Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) raised concerns on the potential damage of the project to the marine environment and resources.

“The local executives 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,” Pamalakaya chair Fernando Hicap said.

“We are demanding Cavite Governor Juanito Victor “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,” he added.

In 2008, the SC issued a continuing mandamus directing various government agencies to clean up and rehabilitate Manila Bay.

The group urged the local officials to look into the installation of steel pipe revetment along the shores of the Manila Bay in the part of Bacoor City.

This is part of the 420-hectare reclamation project proposed by the local government together with the Frabelle Fishing Corporation.

Pamalakaya asserted the supposed violation of the mandamus since reclamation was never part of the rehabilitation.

Hicap said the reclamation project would destroy productive fishing grounds, including mussel (tahong) and oyster (talaba) farms.

“Moreover, it will wipe out a large number of fishing population who subsist in Manila Bay’s fishing waters by fishing and shellfish farming,” he added.

The fishers’ group warned they will hold Cavite local government accountable if the massive destruction and displacement of fisherfolk happen.