CLARK FREEPORT -- A party-list group has asked the business sector to oppose the Bulacan aerotropolis project.
The Anakpawis Party-list issued the statement after fisherfolk from Bulacan and Cavite staged a protest in Pasig City.
The organization urged the people and the business sector to snub the 2,500-hectare airport project in what they alleged as “socially irresponsible, detrimental to the environment, and violative of the socio-economic rights of poor sectors.”
“We urge the people to boycott the Aerotropolis project, by not supporting it, and for the business sector to avoid investing on it. It is anti-people and anti-environment,” former Anakpawis lawmaker Ariel “Ka Ayik” Casilao said in a press statement sent to SunStar Pampanga.
The former lawmaker claimed no environmental compliance and notice to proceed from the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) was issued yet for the project. Both requirements are crucial for a project to push through, he added.
“So if they are that confident, amid without a comprehensive study on its impact on the environment, of its geo-hazard assessment and socio-economic impact on directly and indirectly affected sectors, it simply means that they would move heaven and earth for the project to push through even it is objectively and scientifically found that the project is not suitable,” Casilao said.
The former solon said this issue is not only a concern for the fisherfolk communities in Barangay Taliptip in Bulakan town, but also of the people living in various towns in the province as it may worsen the impact of flooding in their communities.
In August 2018, due to tropical storms and habagat rains, eight towns of Bulacan were flooded that affected more than 120,000 families or 620,000 individuals, according to Casilao.
This forced the provincial government to declare a state of calamity, he said.
In July 2019, 52 villages of Marilao, Malolos, and other towns were flooded due to tropical depression Egay and habagat rains, Casilao said.
He also warned local government officials from being implicated in violating the Supreme Court mandamus to rehabilitate the Manila Bay.
Casilao claimed that reclamation is detrimental to the objective of restoring the water to Class SB, which is fit for recreation and fishery resources development.
“We advise local officials not to pick a stone they would use to hit their own head. Never underestimate the power of the people that you marginalize and rule with impunity or without accountability. They should learn by now that the people are familiar of the due process and rule of law, human rights, and democratic governance,” he said.
Casilao urged the people of Bulacan to unite in opposing the project.
“This is a means to displace the lower sections of Bulacan’s population, hence, we urge them to oppose the Aerotropolis project,” he said.