Support for calls to stop China reclamation snowballs
Jaime Laude (The Philippine Star) - August 24, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Members of various foreign and local Filipino groups are putting up a united front to support a mounting call for Beijing to stop its reclamation and infrastructure development activities in the South China Sea and the West Philippine Sea.

The United States-based US Pinoys for Good Governance (USPGG) and the Manila-based Movement and Alliance to Resist China’s Aggression (MARCHA) gathered Sunday evening in Makati City to show strong opposition to Beijing’s illegal activities in the disputed sea.

The gathering was sponsored and hosted by New York City-based philanthropist Loida Nicolas-Lewis, USPGG chair, and ex-Parañaque lawmaker and former National Security Adviser Roilo Golez.

The groups also launched the Kalayaan Eco-Tourism Zone (ETZ).

The launching of the ETZ for Kalayaan Island Group (KIG) is aimed at generating funds from the private sector to jumpstart the long-delayed development programs of the local government in Kalayaan, a fifth class municipality of Palawan, located in the middle of the brewing maritime and territorial conflict in the Spratlys.

Kalayaan Mayor Eugenio Bito-onon Jr. said at least 70 key personalities have signified their support for the implementation of Kalayaan town ‘s long-delayed development plan.

Local governments formulated an eco-tourism plan for the island town, but the program has yet to take off for lack of funding and support facilities, such as a sheltered port that could accommodate cruise ships.

Transport to the island town, if not through a military aircraft, is through a gruelling sea journey that usually takes two to three days.

However, sea travel is now being threatened because of the increasing presence of China’s warships and coast guard vessels patrolling the disputed region.

 

BEIJING GOOD GOVERNANCE KALAYAAN KALAYAAN ECO-TOURISM ZONE KALAYAAN ISLAND GROUP KALAYAAN MAYOR EUGENIO BITO MAKATI CITY MOVEMENT AND ALLIANCE NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER ROILO GOLEZ NEW YORK CITY
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