Press Release | August 17, 2017
The Center for Environmental Concerns (CEC) – Philippines supports the House Resolution filed by Makabayang Coalition ng Mamamayan (MAKABAYAN) representatives in Congress on August 16, 2017 that aims to “direct the Committees on Aquaculture and Fisheries Resources, Natural Resources and Poverty Alleviation to conduct a joint inquiry, in aid of legislation, on the socio-economic and environmental impacts of reclamation projects in the country”. The bill was introduced by representatives from ANAKPAWIS Partylist, BAYAN MUNA Partlylist, Gabriela Women’s Party, ACT Teachers Partylist and Kabataan Partylist and is supported by other environmental organizations such as Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment, fisherfolk organization Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA – Pilipinas) and coalitions such as Koalisyon Kontra Kumbersyon at Reklamasyon (KKKR) and People’s Network for the Integrity of Coastal Habitats and Ecosystems (People’s NICHE).
“Reclamation projects such as in Manila Bay and Cebu have dealt significant negative impacts on coastal communities. Many scientific studies have documented these impacts not only on the sites mentioned but also on reclamation in other countries. It is high time for the national government to lead a comprehensive and in-depth study on these impacts to formulate stringent policy measures in order to avoid further degradation of our coastal ecosystems brought about by these destructive projects. And while these studies and policies have not been conducted and implemented, a moratorium on reclamation projects should be strictly imposed,” said Owen Migraso, executive directors of CEC.
The National People’s Summit on the Impacts of Reclamation organized by CEC in 2012 and participated by more than 70 organizations nationwide united scientists, fisherfolks and advocates in the call for rehabilitation and not reclamation. “We have been calling for the rehabilitation of freshwater and marine ecosystems. Ensuring the health of these ecosystems will ensure the provision of their natural services including the provision of food and security from disasters,” said Migraso.
“These ecosystems provide the first line of defense against storms surges and flooding. Their destruction makes us more vulnerable to the disasters, especially amidst climate change. The rehabilitation of ecosystems should be prioritized by the Duterte administration as mitigation measures against disasters instead of hard solutions such as infrastructure development,” added Migraso.