Fisherfolk group denounces PRA’s reclamation plans
Elizabeth Marcelo (The Philippine Star) - June 7, 2017 - 4:00pm

MANILA, Philippines -  A small fisherfolk group from Manila Bay under the Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) trooped to the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) office in Makati to call for the abolition of various reclamation projects with private corporations.

The march was held on May 30, National Fisherfolk Day.

Accompanied by members of the environmental group Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment and Center for Environmental Concerns (CEC), the fisherfolk group held a picket in front of the PRA office to denounce around a hundred reclamation projects under the agency’s National Reclamation Plan (NRP) for the coming years.

The group said the planned projects will cover almost 40,000 hectares of fishing waters, based on the PRA’s own data presented during the Land Reclamation and Dredging Summit held last April 24 to 25 in Pasay City.

“If NRP pushes through, our fishing sector will be erased from the map of the archipelago. It is tantamount to deliberate annihilation of our local fish producers to pave the way for private businesses and infrastructure that benefit only those who are in the top Forbes listers in the country,” Pamalakaya chairman Fernando Hicap said.

“NRP will also further destroy the remaining mangrove areas and corals in Manila Bay,” he said.

Among the reclamation projects the group is opposing are the P27.30-billion Navotas Boulevard Bay Project that will cover 650 hectares of Manila Bay for commercial and mixed use; the P19.20-billion Manila Solar City Project covering 148 hectares in Pasay also intended for mixed use; the P53.90-billion Pasay City Reclamation covering 360 hectares also for mixed use; the P26.15-billion Las Piñas-Parañaque Coastal Bay project covering 635 hectares; and the P7.40-billion, 50-hectare expansion of the existing Manila Harbour Centre.

During the rally, the group also called for the abolition of the PRA, saying there was “no legal basis” for its creation and continued existence.

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