CEBU CITY — Shipyard workers in Barangay Tayud, Consolacion town, northern Cebu are opposing a reclamation project in the municipality.
In a petition that was sent to President Rodrigo Duterte, the workers said their livelihood will be affected should the 234.80-hectare mixed-use project push through.
“Local officials led by Vice Mayor Teresa Alegado are now in the process of securing the needed permits to push with the project’s implementation. But what about us who will be greatly affected and are expected to be displaced by its implementation? We, the employees of shipyards in Consolacion were not even consulted on the matter,” read the petition.
At least six shipyards with about 3,000 workers will be affected by the project.
“Our shipyards have thousands of employees and we contribute millions to the municipal government’s coffers and the local economy each year. This comes in the form of taxes, salaries paid to our workers, and the supplies that we buy,” added the petition.
The workers added that the shipyards have been operating in the area for the past five decades and that they have no other means of livelihood if they will be shut down.
The workers are hoping that “our voices be heard” and asked the proponents and the local officials to give their plight “utmost consideration.”
“What will happen to us and our families then? Where do we go from here since shipbuilding and ship repair are all that we know? And since we are still in a pandemic, finding new employment opportunities is something that is very impossible to do,” they said.
The workers said the project will also have an “effects on the maritime industry and the safety of vessels using the Cebu North Channel.”
“Also, there is the issue of the project’s environmental impact. What happens to the nearby fishing grounds then? Thus, we the workers of Shipyards in Consolacion would like to strongly oppose the project’s implementation and call for its immediate suspension,” the workers said.