THE national fishers’ group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) urged the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to deny an environmental permit the roundly opposed Dumaguete reclamation project over its environmental and socio-economic impacts.
In a statement, Pamalakaya said the DENR should seriously take into account the sentiments of scientists, environmentalists, and communities opposed to the 174-hectare reclamation project.
Dumaguete City-based sectors that expressed opposition cited potential devastating impacts of the reclamation project to the marine environment, coastal communities, as well as local fish supply.
“It should be no-brainer for the DENR to reject this reclamation project which has been lamented by scientists and communities as environmentally-destructive. For starters, the DENR should issue a public statement opposing the reclamation and commit itself that no environmental permit would ever be issued to this project,” Fernando Hicap, Pamalakaya national chairperson, said in a statement.
To prove the devastating impacts of reclamation to marine environment, the fishers’ group cited Manila Bay for instance, which for years now “has deteriorated courtesy of reclamation projects that destroyed mangrove areas and transformed productive fishing communities into business and commercial districts.”
“Reclamation has long been proven to be catastrophic not only to marine environment but also to livelihood of coastal communities. Too many reclamation projects have displaced our fisherfolks, too many fishers’ dreams have been shattered to give way for these profit-driven projects. This atrocity among us has to stop,” Hicap said.
“We strongly demand the DENR to be true to its mandate on environmental protection by outrightly rejecting this destructive Dumaguete reclamation project, otherwise, it would be a national resistance movement,” he added. (PR)