Fisherfolk group PAMALAKAYA wants reclamation projects revoked

Fisherfolk group Pamalakaya is calling on the Ferdinand Marcos Jr. administration to stop all reclamation projects in the country, and to abolish the Philippine Reclamation Authority. (Photo: PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas/Facebook)
Fisherfolk group Pamalakaya is calling on the Ferdinand Marcos Jr. administration to stop all reclamation projects in the country, and to abolish the Philippine Reclamation Authority. (Photo: PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas/Facebook)

Fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) is sounding the alarm over the country's more than 180 proposed reclamation projects, which could threaten the country’s marine biodiversity and the livelihood of fishermen.

Of the 187 proposed reclamation projects, at least 30 are in Manila Bay, 19 in Negros Occidental, 15 in Panay, 19 in Cebu and in Bohol, and 25 in Eastern Visayas, according to the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA).

However, not all of the projects are ongoing, as some have been "approved," while others are still "pending."

Meanwhile, the projects for implementation include Manila Solar City Project, Manila Waterfront City Reclamation Project, Navotas City Coastal Bay Reclamation and Development Project and Pasay 360-hectare Reclamation Project.

PAMALAKAYA is calling on the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., and his newly-confirmed Department of Natural Resources Secretary Tony Yulo-Loyzaga, to abolish the PRA, calling it a "useless agency facilitating massive destruction," and to certify as urgent the house bill banning all reclamation projects in Manila Bay.

"This isn’t just figures; these are actual productive marine and aquatic ecosystems to be destroyed and a significant number of coastal population to be forcibly displaced to pave way for these profit-driven and environmentally-destructive projects," PAMALAKAYA national spokeperson, Ronnel Arambulo said.

"On top of its environmental impacts, reclamation entails massive displacement of fisherfolk and a consequent threat to local fish supply," Arambulo added.

PAMALAKAYA said that its opposition to the projects is science-based, as it could destroy the environment and destroy fishers whose primary livelihood is small-scale fishing.

"It has been long proven by many scientists, experts, and fisherfolk that reclamation is catastrophic to marine and aquatic ecosystems. On top of its environmental impacts, reclamation entails massive displacement of fisherfolk and a consequent threat to local fish supply,” said Arambulo.

Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and creative writer who follows developments on politics, democracy, and popular culture. He advocates for a free press and national democracy. Follow him on Twitter at @marvs30ang for latest news and updates. The views expressed are his own.