16 more reclamation projects are underway

Photo courtesy of Pamalakaya Pilipinas

By Fernan J. Angeles

 

DESPITE a policy statement turning down development projects seen to desecrate the environment, the government appears bent on pushing through with reclamation projects that would further reduce the holding capacity of our water forms, by as much as 20,000 hectares.

In the Bulacan Aerotropolis project alone, a long stretch of mangroves was already cut, possibly without environmental clearance. On top of the Aerotropolis project, at least 19,000 hectares of reclamation projects nationwide are currently in the pipeline.

Last week, an environmental movement which calls itself as Kalikasan PNE joined environmental scientists in a rapid appraisal of the site for the 2,500-hectare Aerotropolis project owned by San Miguel Corporation (SMC). They surveyed numerous Indian mangrove trees that the residents reported to have been cut down by SMC personnel almost a month ago. The exact number of trees cut has yet to be determined.

During the appraisal of the site, Kalikasan PNE noted that the proposed airport and metropolitan complex located in Barangay Taliptip, Bulakan Town, Bulacan Province overlapped with the 25-Ha Bulakan Mangrove Eco-park established by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in the area.

Taliptip’s mangroves are part of the remaining mangrove corridor in Northern Manila Bay that could potentially be listed as part of the Ramsar wetlands of international importance. Migratory birds come here to feed and breed. Thousands of families are dependent on the bay for their food, livelihood, and resiliency.

However, SMC’s Aerotropilis project would see the birds’ habitat, the people’s source of livelihood and protection from storm surges “turned into another concrete jungle for the profit of the very few,” says the group in a statement.

List of Reclamation projects underway

 

Project

Area

Location

Details

Manila Waterfront City

318 Ha

Manila

Waterfront Manila Premier Development Inc.

Commercial and tourism hub along Roxas Boulevard

Horizon Manila

419 Ha

Manila

J-Bros Construction Corp.

Three artificial islands

New Manila Bay International Community

407.42 Ha

Manila

UAA Kinming Group Development Corp.

Solar City Urban Center

148 Ha

Manila

Manila Goldcoast Development Corp.

Tourism, Commercial, and Residential District, including an international cruise ship terminal

Las Pinas – Paranaque Coastal Bay Project

635.14 Ha

Las Pinas - Paranaque

SM Group

Government center, residential, industrial, educational, and commercial zone

Navotas Boulevard Business Park

650 Ha

Brgy Tangos and Tanza, Navotas

Approved in 2015, currently in the engineering stage. Estimated will displace around 20,000 people.

Locals have been offered P10,000 each to self-demolish and relocate.

Bulacan ‘Aerotropolis’ International Airport Project

2,500 Ha

Bulakan, Bulacan

San Miguel Corporation

Involves a 1,168-Ha airport and a metropolis city complex, entirely covering 2,500 Ha. Will build an expressway that will link to the North Luzon Expressway.

Manila Bay Integrated Flood Control, Coastal Defense And Expressway Project

11,270.96 Ha

(extrapolated from 13,770.96 from NRP subtracted by Aerotropolis area)

Northern Manila Bay – Bulacan, Pampanga, Bataan

San Miguel Corporation and San Jose Builders

City Flood Control in the coastal waters of Navotas City;

Coastal Sea Barrier through the northern part of Manila Bay covering the coastal areas of Bulacan, Pampanga and Bataan;

 

An expressway that will connect Bataan with Metro Manila and providing direct access to the provinces of Bulacan and Pampanga with a Concession Period of 50 years.

Sangley Point International Airport

1,500 Ha

 

Sy family’s Belle Corp. and Tieng’s All-Asia Resources and Reclamation Corp.

Regional airway hub with two parallel independent runways.

Laguna Lakeshore Expressway Dike (LLED)

700 Ha

Taguig-Muntinlupa to Los Banos, Laguna

Expressway Dike and Tollway, Taguig-Los Baños

7 islands, horizontal development, 100-150m channel between lakeshore and reclamation, 700 hectares, Taguig-Muntinlupa.

Canlubang-Bay Bypass Road Project

100 – 500 Ha

Calamba, Laguna

Ecotoll Road and Development Corporation

Canlubang – Bay ByPass Road;

Reclaim araound 100 ha of land expandable to 500 ha to serve as flood control dike for the Calamba, Los Baños and Bay;

Land use development of the reclamation component.

Mactan North Reclamation and Development Project

400 Ha

Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu

Aims to integrate industrial, commercial, residential and tourism development.

Aklan Beach Zone Restoration and Protection Marina Development Project

2.6 Ha

Caticlan, Malay, Aklan

Envisioned to become tourist related sites that will complement the nearby island of Boracay.

BREDCO

108 Ha

Bacolod City

Commercial and industrial uses

Coron

50 Ha

Brgy. Poblacion at Tagumpay, Coron, Palawan

World class tourism estate. 9.7 Ha has already been reclaimed and developed.

Mabini

8.5 Ha

Mabini, Batangas

In partnership with SeaOil and Mabini Terminal Development, Inc., the project is intended for mixed commercial and industrial use.

TOTAL

19,617.62 Ha

 

 

Wetlands that are part of the ‘Ramsar list’ are considered internationally significant in terms of ecology, botany, zoology, limnology, or hydrology. Governments acceding to the 1971 Ramsar Convention, which provides for the international conservation and promotion of the sustainable use of wetlands, are required to enact and implement measures for the protection of the wetlands found in each respective country that are among those included in the global list of important wetlands. 

The Philippines itself is a signatory to the Ramsar treaty. Among the Philippines’ wetlands that are in the Ramsar list include the 14,836-hectare Agusan Marsh in Mindanao, 14,568-hectare Naujan Lake National Park in Mindoro, and the 175-hectare Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area (LPPCHEA).

The LPPCHEA itself is among those other ecologically critical coastal areas that are being threatened by reclamation in Manila Bay.  Other affected coasts include that of northern Bataan, Pampanga, the rest of Metro Manila, and northern Cavite.

Kalikasan PNE noted that the government entered into a partnership with the Dutch government earlier this year to develop the Manila Bay Sustainable Development Masterplan supposedly to provide an ecologically sustainable while economically viable development framework for the bay.

Reclamation projects being awarded deals when the supposed masterplan that will govern it is still non-existent. There isn’t even any indication that these projects have feasibility studies and environmental impact statements justifying the clearing of mangroves and coast-filling already undertaken by the reclamation companies.

A moratorium must be imposed on all reclamation projects in the pipeline so long as no scientifically-robust, environmentally-friendly, and democratically-consulted bay development plan is in place.

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