CLARK FREEPORT -- A fisherfolk group has joined the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) and Anakpawis Party-list in declaring a nationwide protest against the 2,500-hectare Aerotropolis project in Bulacan.
In a press statement sent to SunStar Pampanga, The Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) said it has 11 regional chapters and 35 provincial chapters all over the country.
These are Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, Cagayan, Isabela, Aurora, Zambales, Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna, Cavite, Quezon, Batangas, Mindoro, Palawan, Camarines Sur, Albay, Sorsogon, Masbate, Iloilo, Antique, Capiz, Negros island, Cebu, Bohol, Northern Samar, Samar, Agusan del Norte, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Davao Oriental, Davao del Sur, Davao Occidental and Sarangani.
"We are expecting their issuances of statement of opposition to the Aerotropolis project and protest actions at regional or provincial environment offices to demand the revocation of the environmental compliance certificate (ECC) issued to contractor Silvertides for its 'land development' cum reclamation project," said Fernando "Ka Pando" Hicap, Pamalakaya national chairperson and former Anakpawis Party-list lawmaker.
Hicap said the ECC issued to Silvertides, as supposed to be a public document, remained hidden and protected from public scrutiny especially from the directly-affected fisherfolk sector in Barangay Taliptip in Bulacan town, the location of the project.
At least 700 fisherfolk families fear that they will be displaced from their homes and sources of livelihood because of the project.
Hicap questioned if there was a liquidated damage or damage fee provision on the contract, in case the project does not push through on various reasons such as the disapproval of the ECC.
"If there was such provision, it adds pressure to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to hastily approve the ECC, to avoid such damage payment. If it does, Tugade should be held accountable for agreeing to such inexpedient contract," the fisherfolk leader said.
Hicap challenged the DENR-Central Luzon office to publish the ECC and the Transportation office to produce the contract.
"Restrictions to these pertinent documents only proves that there are some things to hide from the public and directly-affected sectors. Don't wait for protest actions by the thousands before you heed this legitimate demand," he said.
"There will be no let up by the fisherfolk movement on this clash of class interest, especially that our members across the country would also be taking up to the task," Hicap ended.