Prelate backs 'Writ of Kalikasan' bid vs Manila Bay project

MANILA Apostolic Administrator Bishop Broderick Pabillo supported the planned filing of a "Writ of Kalikasan" over the dumping of crushed dolomite along the coast of Manila Bay.

In a radio interview, Pabillo said he agrees with environmental advocates in questioning the controversial project of the National Government that aims to rehabilitate the Manila Bay.

"There is a principle used in ecology, which is the precautionary principle, wherein if there are any doubts to a particular project's effect to the environment or people's health, it shouldn't push through until those doubts are resolved," said Pabillo.

"We need the Writ of Kalikasan so that this project becomes transparent," he added.

A Writ of Kalikasan (nature) is a legal remedy that provides protection of a person's constitutional right to a healthy environment. Article II Section 16 of the 1987 Constitution states that the “state shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.”

On Friday, September 18, environmental advocates bared that they are already preparing for the filing of a Writ of Kalikasan before the courts in a bid to stop the project.

Pabillo said such a clarification is necessary to determine if the presence of crushed dolomite can adversely affect the fishes, coral reefs, as well as the fishermen.

"Manila Bay is an active and very alive bay. It has a lot of fishes, seashells, and coral reefs. How will they be affected if you put foreign body there?" asked Pabillo.

He also questioned the absence of the mandatory Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) before the project started.

"Was there an environmental input assessment conducted? There has to be an ECC for this project," said Pabillo.

Earlier, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and Department of Public Works and Highways pushed through with the project of overlaying "white sand" on the shores of Manila Bay by using crushed dolomites. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)


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