CEBU CITY – Calls to scrap the planned 235-hectare reclamation project in Consolacion town, northern Cebu are snowballing.
After the workers of the six ship yard companies that will be affected by the project, residents of Barangay Tayud, Consolacion have also expressed their opposition.
At least 120 Tayud residents on Sunday, October 17, signed a manifesto of appeal, asking President Rodrigo Duterte to stop the implementation of the on the Seafront City project.
These residents include habal-habal drivers, tricycle drivers, operators of carenderia and owners of boarding houses that serve workers and visitors of the six shipyards that operate in Tayud, whose foreshore land the municipal government want to take over to pave the way for their reclamation project.
“We are poor residents who can’t afford to live in expensive subdivisions or get an apartment unit. We survive on fishing and doing hard labor like working in shipyards that are located in our barangay. Some of us, like the vendors and tricycle and habal-habal drivers, earn from the operation of the shipyards and other businesses in our community, read the petition.
“And the risk of losing both our homes and our source of livelihood while we are still suffering from a pandemic is unbearable. We are begging that you listen to our pleas,” they added.
Some of the residents rely on fishing for livelihood and to disprove the supposed claims of Mayor Joannes Alegado and other town officials that Barangay Tayud is no longer rich in marine resources, at least 20 fishermen went out to the sea near the shipyards to catch fish early Sunday morning.
The fishermen later brandished their catch.
“We are registered voters of Barangay Tayud and most of us have lived in the barangay all our lives. This was where we were born, where we studied, got married and raised our children,” the petition read.
The workers lamented that they were never consulted by the municipal government nor were they invited in a public hearing on the project.
Based on the 2020 census, Tayud’s population has reached more than 23,000.
“The Consolacion LGU (local government unit) must focus on addressing the basic needs and well-being of the residents, especially that we’re struggling in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Edward Ligas, former Commissioner of the Presidential Commission on Urban Poor, who is backing the workers and the residents’ cause.