Climate and Environment

All Manila Bay reclamation projects suspended pending review — DENR

Gaea Katreena Cabico - Philstar.com
All Manila Bay reclamation projects suspended pending review � DENR
Boats sail past a reclamation site in Manila Bay on August 10, 2023.
AFP/Ted Aljibe

MANILA, Philippines — All reclamation projects in Manila Bay have been suspended pending a government review of their environmental and social impacts, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources said Thursday. 

Environment chief Maria Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga said this a few days after President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. announced the suspension of all Manila Bay reclamation projects, except one. He did not specify which reclamation project was exempted from the suspension and on what grounds. 

There are around 22 reclamation projects in Manila Bay, an important fishing ground and a hub of economic activities. 

“The declaration is really that all of these projects are suspended at this point. All are under review. We have to take our time, starting with those that are ongoing because they’re in fact already impacting areas and we’ll graduate to those that have yet to begin,” Yulo-Loyzaga said in a Palace briefing.

Loyzaga said the announcement of Marcos triggered the suspension of all Manila Bay reclamation projects, adding that the environment department does not have the authority to suspend. 

“The 22 projects will be written to. Some of them have been written to on the part of the DENR in terms of the compliance review. Regardless of whether they’re suspended or not, we will do the compliance review,” she said. Yulo-Loyzaga noted that the agency is looking into the conditions under which the environmental compliance certificates and area clearances for the projects had been issued. 

Organizations under People’s Network for the Integrity of Coastal Habitats and Ecosystems welcomed the move, but called on the government to permanently stop reclamation projects. 

“These would imperil our food security, and violate our constitutional rights to a balanced and healthful ecology and the rights of fishers,” Oceana Philippines acting vice president Rose Liza Eisma-Osorio said in a press briefing Thursday morning. 

The groups called on the Marcos government to issue a written order that will give teeth to his pronouncement. 

They also urged the government to suspend other reclamation projects that are not included in the list of the Philippine Reclamation Authority such as the New Manila International Airport in Bulacan, and study the impacts of coastal infrastructure projects such as the proposed Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge. 

The chief executive made the pronouncement days after the United States Embassy expressed concern about a reclamation project linked to China Communications Construction Company, a firm blacklisted by the US Department of Commerce. 

vuukle comment




  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with