Villar asks SC to stop Manila Bay reclamation project
Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - October 11, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Sen. Cynthia Villar yesterday brought to the Supreme Court (SC) her bid to stop a P14-billion plan to reclaim land along the Manila Bay coastline covering the cities of Las Piñas, Paranaque and Bacoor.

In a petition, Villar asked the high court to reverse an earlier ruling of the Court of Appeals (CA) dismissing her petition for the issuance of a writ of kalikasan and a temporary environmental protection order (TEPO) to stop government agencies from proceeding with the project that would cover 635.14 hectares of submerged land.

She also asked the SC to void the government’s contract on Alltech Coastal Bay Project for allegedly violating the constitutional right to a balanced and healthy ecology, and to order the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources to revoke the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) issued to the project.

“The (CA) committed a grave and serious error (when) it decided that Alltech Coastal Bay Project is a continuation of the PEA-AMARI Manila Coastal Bay project even when the latter has never entered actual operation phase, let alone seen actual implementation,” Villar said.

She also stressed that the ECC for the reclamation project was illegal because it was granted despite that non-submission of the proponent of any environmental impact statement.

Last April, the CA denied Villar’s petition, saying it lacks merit for failing to prove the reclamation project would trigger massive environmental damage. The CA affirmed its ruling and dismissed the motion for reconsideration filed by Villar in August.

What meetings?

The senator stood firm on her allegations, telling the SC that the meetings conducted supposedly as public consultations failed to satisfy the requirements of the law.

“Public hearings are mandatory for the proposed reclamation projects. A detailed statement of existing project alternatives is mandatory and questions relating to financial and technical capabilities of proponent are relevant to the issue relating to its environmental performance,” she said.

She said the reclamation project impinges on the viability and sustainability of Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area, which serves as a sanctuary for migratory bird species from as far as Siberia. According to the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines, the entire Metro Manila is host to 150 species of birds, 72 of which are found at LPPCHEA. 

The LPPCHEA is the only bird sanctuary in an urban setting. Because of its biodiversity, LPPCHEA was declared as a critical habitat in 2007.

 

ALLTECH COASTAL BAY PROJECT COURT OF APPEALS CRITICAL HABITAT AND ECOTOURISM AREA CYNTHIA VILLAR DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL AND NATURAL RESOURCES ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLIANCE CERTIFICATE LAS PI LAST APRIL MANILA BAY PROJECT
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

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!

SIGN IN
or sign in with