Villar: Parañaque reclamation project to worsen floods
Cecille Suerte Felipe (The Philippine Star) - September 27, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A reclamation project being pushed by the Parañaque City government will worsen flooding in the city as well as in Cavite and Las Piñas and be detrimental to the viability of the Las Piñas-Parañaque Wetland Park, Sen. Cynthia Villar said yesterday.

Villar, chairperson of the Senate committee on environment and natural resources, issued the statement as a response to the public hearings set on Oct. 1 and 2 for the creation of a 287-hectare artificial island along the coast of Manila Bay in Parañaque.

She appealed to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to consider the wetland park’s buffer zone before approving any reclamation in the area.

The project, proposed to be built in the buffer zone, “will hamper the free flow of water which is critical to the survival of the wetland ecosystem,” Villar said.

She added that the project will destroy 35 hectares of mangrove forest, “which is the spawning ground of fishes in Manila Bay supporting the livelihood of 300,000 fisherfolk.”

Villar also disputed project proponent Parañaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez’s claim that the Imus catchment basin will prevent the flooding.

She said that according to former Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) secretary Rogelio Singson, the Manila-Cavite Expressway was built on top of reclaimed land, causing flooding in Cavite.

“To address this, DPWH built the Imus catchment basin. This project is not intended to solve flooding in Parañaque and Las Piñas,” Villar said.

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