Fisherfolk group Pamalakaya, on Monday morning, Oct. 17, trooped to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) Central Office together with other progressive groups to demand the scrapping of environmental compliance certificates (ECCs) for Manila Bay reclamation projects.
“arito ang mga mangingisdang direktang apektado ng reklamasyon para paalalahanan sila sa mandato nitong protektahan ang kalikasan at karagatan laban sa anumang anyo ng mapanirang proyekto, tulad ng reklamasyon (The fishermen directly affected by the reclamation are here to remind them of their mandate to protect nature and ocean against any form of destructive projects such as reclamation),” said Pamalakaya National Spokesperson Ronnel Arambulo.
According to Pamalakaya, reclamation projects with approved ECCs include the 420-hectare reclamation in Bacoor, Cavite; 360-hectare Pasay Reclamation Project; 318-hectare Manila City Waterfront Project; as well as the 419-hectare Horizon Manila Project.
The group has been airing its “science-based opposition” against reclamation for a long time already, stressing that these projects threaten the livelihood of Filipino fishermen and also bring harm to the “fragile” marine ecosystem and biodiversity of Manila Bay.
“indi kami tumigil na idulog sa ahensya ang banta ng reklamasyon sa aming kabuhayan at pangisdaan. Pero hanggang ngayon ay wala pa kaming nakukuhang malinaw na sagot (We did not stop reporting to the agency the threat of reclamation to our livelihood and fisheries, but so far we have not gotten a clear answer),” added Arambulo.
Instead of pushing for reclamation, Pamalakaya said the DENR should conduct an “actual rehabilitation” and restoration of the country’s marine biodiversity.
Reclamation pertains to the act of creating a new land form in bodies of water such as oceans, seas, and riverbeds.