Villar seeks recall of Cavite reclamation projectâs permit
Sen. Cynthia Villar was referring to the ECC issued by the DENR, through the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), to the Bacoor Reclamation and Development Project initiated by Bacoor City government together with the owner of Erabelle Fishing Corp. on March 5.
Mong Pintolo/File
Villar seeks recall of Cavite reclamation project’s permit
Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) - June 25, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Cynthia Villar asked yesterday the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to recall the environment compliance certificate (ECC) issued to the 320-hectare Bacoor reclamation project in Cavite, warning that it would destroy protected areas and trigger flooding in communities around Manila Bay.

Villar was referring to the ECC issued by the DENR, through the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), to the Bacoor Reclamation and Development Project initiated by Bacoor City government together with the owner of Erabelle Fishing Corp. on March 5.

ECC-CO-1909-0023 was signed by EMB officer-in-charge William Cunado, who gave the go-signal to start dredging, filling the project area with reclamation materials and construction of road networks and drainage system in Manila Bay, off Bacoor City in Cavite.

Villar, who chairs the Senate committee on environment, said the project threatens to destroy protected areas and trigger massive flooding in communities surrounding Manila Bay.

“The reclamation project will potentially cause irreparable damage to the Las Piñas-Parañaque Wetland Park. The project will be building on the buffer zone of this protected area and will destroy the landscape in which the wetland now thrives,” Villar said.

Under Republic Act 11038 or the Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System Act (E-NIPAS Act), the 175-hectare Las Piñas-Parañaque Wetland Park is a declared protected area.

It is also one of seven areas in the Philippines listed as a Wetland of International Importance by the Ramsar Convention because of its critical role in the survival of threatened, restricted-range and congregatory bird species.

She also cited the warning of the Department of Public Works and Highways that reclaiming Manila Bay would cause flooding as high as eight meters in Las Piñas City and other cities around the bay.

She said P1.47 billion worth of flood-control projects in the cities of Bacoor and Imus will be wasted if the reclamation project is implemented.

Flooding was one of the grounds cited by Villar along with 315,000 residents of Las Piñas, Parañaque and Cavite, when they petitioned for a Writ of Kalikasan against the planned reclamation of Manila Bay in 2012.

In 2017, the DENR cancelled the ECC issued to Alltech Contractors Inc. for the Parañaque-Las Piñas Coastal Bay Project Land Reclamation due to its potential to harm the environment.

She also said the Bacoor reclamation project contradicts the P1.3-billion Manila Bay Rehabilitation project implemented to clean up, rehabilitate and preserve the coastal and marine ecosystem of the bay.

“If we allow reclamation to proceed in Manila Bay, what happens now to our rehabilitation efforts? Our government has already poured precious resources into this campaign and many have sacrificed to comply. Are we now losing the battle for Manila Bay?” Villar said.

On Jan. 27, 2019, the “Battle for Manila Bay” was launched to reinforce the Supreme Court continuing mandamus issued in December 2008, which directs 13 agencies and private entities to clean up, rehabilitate, preserve, restore and maintain the waters of Manila Bay to a level fit for swimming, skin-diving and other forms of contact recreation.

Also on the basis of the continuing mandamus, President Duterte signed Administrative Order No. 16 creating the Manila Bay Task Force on Feb. 19, 2019.

DENR ECC
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