Tag Archives: R-1 Expressway Extension Project

Noynoy, Mar warned: Stop Ayong’s demolition plan or face electoral backlash in 2010

By Bb. Joyce Cabral and Sugar Hicap

Bacoor, Cavite- The left-leaning fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Tuesday warned Liberal Party presidential and vice-presidential candidates Senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III and Mar Roxas that the people of Cavite will not hesitate to junk them in the 2010 elections because their LP point person in Cavite- Gov. Ayong Maliksi is spearheading massive demolition of fishing villages across the province to pave way for foreign funded government projects.

“We will campaign for the outright rejection of Noynoy and Mar in the province of Cavite if they cannot stop their point man– Governor Maliksi from reducing people’s homes and livelihood into debris of the past,” said Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap in a press statement.

“This is a make or break for the two aspirants in the 2010 national elections. They have to stop the madman of Cavite, who is Gov. Maliksi, their party mate and LP’s main man in Cavite if they want to keep their winning chances at par with other presidential and vice-presidential candidates. If they will not act on this matter, the people of Cavite have no option but to campaign against the LP tandem of Noynoy and Mar, and they have nothing to blame but Gov. Maliksi and his appetite for destruction and fat kickbacks,” the Pamalakaya leader added.

Hicap said Cavite province is one of the top 5 provinces in the country with the largest concentration of voters with more than 1 million registered voters as of 2008. The Pamalakaya official said the 1 million voters in Cavite could make or unmake a president or a vice-president, especially in a hotly contested and open wide electoral race.

“Noynoy and Mar should discipline Maliksi and stop his madness if they want to stay in the electoral derby in 2010, or else face rejection of the Cavite people next year,” he added.

Reports reaching Pamalakaya headquarters in Quezon City revealed that Gov. Maliksi is planning to undertake a major demolition operation in Barangay Sineguelasan in Bacoor, Cavite to pave the way for R-1 Expressway Extension Project, an enabling project for the expansion and modernization of Sangley Point Naval Base in Cavite City, which the national government intends to develop as a major international seaport in the country.

“The 11-kilometer expressway project is a road to perdition and a highway to destruction. But for Gov. Maliksi, the road expansion project is a multi-billion peso finance campaign worthy of millions of pesos of huge kickbacks in return. And to effectively carry out this P 4.3-billion road project, they are exploiting and prostituting the SC ruling on Manila Bay,” added Hicap.

Pamalakaya accused President Arroyo, Gov. Maliksi, Atienza, Ebdane and Revilla Sr. of destroying the remaining corals and mangroves of Manila Bay by pushing the R-1 Expressway Extension Project by allowing the reclamation of 7,500 hectares of the submerged public properties along the bay to give way to road construction.

“Reclamation will hasten the death of Manila Bay which is currently under the Intensive Care Unit and in full environmental comatose. That undertaking by design and by orientation, and by law is against the SC decision on Manila Bay. If Noynoy and Mar will not listen and will continue to subscribe to Maliksi’s program of destruction in Cavite, then the two LP bets are digging their own graves in the province,” the militant group said.

Pamalakaya said the R-1 expressway extension project will displace 26,000 fisherfolk families and urban poor residents in the coastal towns of Bacoor, Kawit, Binakayan, Noveleta and Cavite City. Last year, around 1,000 fishing and urban poor families were demolished and relocated to Tanza. The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) promised to give P 15,000 to each family whose houses were demolished.

The militant group recalled that on June 21, 2007, President Arroyo signed Executive Order No. 629 directing the PRA to develop Sangley Point in Cavite City into a logistical hub with modern seaport and an airport, citing the R-1 expressway extension project as enabling component. The Pamalakaya leader said the Sangley Point project was Mrs. Arroyo’s birthday gift to Revilla.

Pamalakaya said the R-1 extension project resulted to diminished fish catch and destruction of remaining corals and mangroves in Bacoor Bay. The same Cavite road project is also being blamed for the flooding in Bacoor and nearby coastal towns in the province.#

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DAR promised to look into farmer’s landlessness

By Axel Pinpin, contributor

Mnaila, Philippines-In a dialogue yesterday with the farmers, Sec. Nasser C. Pangandaman of the Department of Agrarian Reform promised to look into the wide scale conversion of farm lands in Southern Tagalog.

The militant KASAMA-TK criticized what they called ‘one of the nailed promises of DAR.’ Imelda Lacandazo, spokesperson of KASAMA-TK said that they have been hearing promises from the agency decades ago. “Sec. Pangandaman is the ultimate liar; he cannot assure that DAR will study the agrarian disputes our group presented because recently he declared that he already approved the application of 43,000 hectares of farm lands for conversion.”

Lacandazo’s group is pressing DAR to cancel all conversion order especially after typhoon Ondoy hit most of the agricultural area in the region.

KASAMA-TK together with the leaders of their provincial chapters presented several agrarian cases in a day-long dialogue with the DAR secretary. Among them is the controversial Hacienda Looc estate in Nasugbu, Batangas being developed by Henry Sy. It involves 8,650 hectares of productive rice field, the farmer’s group said.

Outside the DAR office, more than 300 farmers staged a die-in to dramatize their call for a genuine agrarian reform in the country.

“The 70% of the country’s population needed a radical and pro-farmer land reform not a bogus reform for the landlords and foreign investors,” Lacandazo said, referring to RA 9700, the enacted law after the lower house and senate approved the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (CARPER) bill.

Earlier, other groups held a dialogue with Director Nilo Tamoria of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

PAMALAKAYA from Southern Tagalog is demanding DENR to stop the construction of the R1 Coastal Road Extension in Bacoor, Cavite and the mothballed Laiban Dam in Tanay, Rizal, expressing their concern on the aftermath of the two typhoons that hit the country.

The group walked-out of the dialogue after Tamoria declared that the DENR cannot do anything about the project.

The farmers built a camp-out in front of the DAR building and will join the other farmers from Central Luzon today. They will be marching to Mendiola for the culmination of their week-long protest. October 16-21 is declared as Peasant Week in the country.#

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(UPDATE)Southern Tagalog farmers say new land reform law will bring catastrophes to land tillers

by Axel Pinpin, contributor

Manila, Philippines – The militant KASAMA-TK (Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan) expressed dismay over the extension of 20-year old Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) and warned of massive re-concentration of land to the hands of big landlords and foreign companies in the country.

“In the midst of destruction and damaged brought by typhoon Ondoy to the agriculture sector in the region, we should gear for more catastrophic events that will be brought by CARP Extension with Reforms (CARPER),” Imelda Lacandazo, spokesperson of KASAMA-TK said during a picket-protest in front of the Department of Agrarian Reform in Quezon City where more than a hundred of farmers staged a die-in to dramatized their condition.

The Provincial Agriculture Office in Laguna reported that 7,300 hectares of rice field were submerged during the height of flood caused by the overflowing of Laguna Lake that leads to a 21% reduction of the total production of rice in the province.
Lacandazo noted that even before the typhoon, rice fields in Laguna were already flooded leaving the farmers in destitute after the cropping season.

According to the group, this situation is aggravated by high land rental and usury, low wages of farm workers and low-prices of agricultural produce.

Earlier, the group picketed in front of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources while their leaders are presenting the group’s demand in a dialogue with Sec. Lito Atienza. They are pressing the DENR to stop the construction of Laiban Dam in Tanay, Rizal saying that it will displace indigenous people in nine communities.

The group is also calling to immediately discontinue the R1 Coastal Road Extension Project in Bacoor, Cavite adding that 100,000 families will lost their houses and source of livelihood.

“Kailan pa matututo ang gubyerno sa mga mapangwasak nilang proyekto? Kitang-kita naman na kung hindi sa mga diumano’y proyektong pangkaunlaran ng gubyerno, hindi sana natin sasapitin ang mga ganitong kalamidad,” Pedro Gonzales, secretary general of Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamalakaya in Southern Tagalog (PAMALAKAYA-TK) stated in his speech during the rally.

Gonzales also blamed the Laguna Lake Development Authority for its negligence in controlling the structures built along the shore of the lake that caused flooding in the nearby communities.

The leaders of KASAMA-TK and their provincial chapters held a dialogue with the secretary of DAR to discuss several agrarian disputes in the Southern Tagalog region.

The agrarian cases, according to Lacandazo, have long been keeping the farmers landless in spite of the implementation of the bogus CARP. She mentioned the Hacienda Yulo in Laguna, Camella Homes owned by Manny Villar in Batangas and Ayala Properties in Cavite among others.

“The conditions of the farmers are miserable, with the CARPER now signed into RA 9700, it will be wretched,” the group added.

Meanwhile, about 1,000 calamity farmer victims in Central Luzon and Southern Tagalog region on Tuesday night are gearing up for a rural camp-out at the national office of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to press their 10-point immediate demand to Malacanang, the DAR and the Department of Agriculture, which they argued will address the rural crisis worsened by storm Ondoy and typhoon Pepeng.

In a joint press statement, the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), Anakpawis party list, the Alyansa ng Magbubukid ng Gitnang Luzon (AMGL) and the Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan (Kasama-TK) will present the set of demands on the eve of their long march from DAR to Malacanang on Oct.21 dubbed as Farmers’ March for Land, Justice and Rehabilitation”

KMP secretary general Danilo Ramos said the devastating impact of typhoon Ondoy and Pepeng is best addressed by the following measures:

1. Free distribution of land to landless and land lacking farmers all over the country. In particular, farmers from Central Luzon represented by AMGL demanded the immediate and unconditional free distribution of 375 hectares of land in San Miguel, Bulacan allegedly landgrabbed by Rep. Luis Villafuerte, the 3,100 hectares of prime agricultural lands inside the Fort Magsaysay Military Reservation and the 6,453 hectare Hacienda Luisita owned by the family of the late President Corazon Aquino in Tarlac province.

In Southern Tagalog, peasant groups demanded the free distribution of all agricultural lands owned and controlled by rich families like the Ayalas and the Yulos in the region. Kasama-TK also pressed the government to stop all Calabarzon projects in Southern Tagalog, including the controversial Laiban dam project.

2. Support housing projects for farmers and rural people whose homes were destroyed or uprooted at the height of tropical storm Ondoy and typhoon Pepeng.
3. Rehabilitation of farms and granting of seeds and seedlings for rice, corn, vegetables and d other farm crops
4. Financial grant of about P 10,000 to P 15,000 per hectare
5. Zero interest credit line to the Land Bank of the Philippines amounting to P 10,000 to
P 15,000 per hectare
6. Provisions for farm implements such as tractors, hand tractors and carabaos.
7. Setting up of potable water supply.
8. Moratorium on irrigation fees imposed by the National Irrigation Authority and private irrigation systems.
9. Livelihood to rural people
10. Automatic repudiation of farm debts, if not moratorium in payment of principals and interests on acquired loans from landlords and local financial institutions. (With reports from Roy Morilla and Bb.Joyce Cabral

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Militants question P1.1 B billion MMDA budget for Manila Bay clean up

Militants question P1.1 B billion MMDA budget for Manila Bay clean up

The fisherfolk activist group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Tuesday vowed to question the P 1.1 billion budget allocated by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) in connection with the Manila Bay clean up.

Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said his group will prepare a position paper opposing the huge public fund allocated by Malacañang and will submit once the House of Representatives discusses the 2010 national budget pertaining to MMDA and the Manila Bay clean up.

“The clean up should be undertaken collectively and separately by local government units situated along the bay, together with concerned government agencies. The MMDA should be taken out of the picture since its functions overlap with the functions of government agencies and local government units. The best thing to do is to abolish the MMDA,” said Hicap.

“P 1.1 billion is P 1.1 billion. This will make the MMDA the government’s super agency in the National Capital Region. Given its notorious records of high crimes of corruption, daily political arrogance and extreme brutality, the proposed budget for MMDA’s Manila Bay clean up will make it an uncontrollable monster in 2010,” the Pamalakaya leader added.

Hicap said the huge budget allocated for the MMDA could be one the compelling reasons why the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) suddenly inked a pact with MMDA, to maximize not only its human resources, but as well the huge funds allocated to it for counter-insurgency operations and urban militarization.

“The P1.1 billion MMDA budget is really a mouth-watering banana for the AFP. The military can exploit the people of MMDA and its resources,” he added.

Pamalakaya said instead of giving MMDA the lion’s share in the budget for Manila Bay clean up, Metro Manila lawmakers and local government units representing all cities and municipalities in the National Capital Region should call for the abolition of the authority.

“National and local candidates who will call for the abolition of MMDA will earn the respect and the desired votes from Metro electorates. It is an electoral agenda voters from all classes A,B,C,D and E will support. It is winning electoral piece for 2010,” the group observed.

DBM Secretary Rolando Andaya said the government has allocated over one billion pesos, P 848 million for MMDA’s solid waste disposal and management and another P 250 million for the relocation of informal settlers on open waterways in Metro Manila for a grand total of P 1.098 billion for the clean up of Manila Bay.

Andaya said, the MMDA will spend P 223-million for operational support, maintenance, repair and rehabilitation of flood control systems, P 100 million for the mitigation of floods in the Gil Puyat Avenue-South Superhighway Area. The authority will also allot P 58 million for flood control and drainage projects in Metro Manila, and another P 50-million for urgent flood control projects.

The P 1.1 billion allocation for MMDA is part of the P 1.6 billion the government had alloted for the Manila Bay clean up. Pamalakaya said the P 1.1 billion for MMDA will be used to demolish fisherfolk and bay people, as well as hundreds of thousands of urban poor families along Pasig River in response to the Supreme Court ruling on Manila Bay. #

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Palace’s P 1.6 B budget for Manila Bay clean up meant for “demolition jobs”, says fishers group

Palace’s P 1.6 B budget for Manila Bay clean up meant for “demolition jobs”, says fishers group

The left-leaning fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Tuesday said the P 1.6 billion Malacañang has allocated for Manila Bay clean up is meant to carry out the baywide demolition of fisherfolk and urban poor communities along the bay that would extend to Pasig River up to Laguna Lake.

“The P 1.6 billion fund for Manila Bay clean up is a campaign fund to undertake the massive demolitions of bay people and urban poor from their main source of livelihood and communities. This is a declaration of war,” said Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap in a press statement.

According to Hicap the P 1.6 billion Palace allocations will target 13 million out of the 30 million population of Manila Bay, including urban poor families along Pasig River and the 27,000 fisherfolk families in Laguna Lake.

To prove that the fund was meant for “demolition jobs”, the Pamalakaya leader recalled that sometime last year, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) granted the request of the Cavite provincial government for assistance in demolishing fishepens and mussel growing structures in Bacoor Bay.

“If my memory serves me right, last year, DENR secretary gave Cavite Gov. Ayong Maliksi not less than P 800,000 for the demolition of fishpens and other structures in Cavite in the name of the bogus Manila Bay clean up,” added Hicap.

Pamalakaya said the planned demolition of 4,000 Cavite fisherfolk and residents starting tomorrow will be funded by the P 1.6 billion Palace allocations for Manila Bay through the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the DENR and the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) who will help the the Cavite provincial government in carrying out the demolitions from Bacoor to Cavite City.

The militant group said in Cavite alone, more than 26,000 fisherfolk and urban poor residents in 10 barangays of Bacoor town will be displaced once the Manila Bay clean up programs go full blast.

Pamalakaya said the government is exploiting and abusing the Supreme Court ruling on Manila Bay clean up to effectively carry out the demolitions of communities to pave way for the entry of foreign funded government projects like road expansion and establishment of high rise buildings and condominiums, including casinos and high end rest and recreation centers.

The group said the reclamation of shallow waters in Manila Bay to allow the construction of R-1 Expressway Extension Project and the conversion of Sangley Naval Point into an international seaport spurned the destruction of Manila Bay. Pamalakaya said the government since last year had already reclaimed some 12,000 hectares of coastal waters in Bacoor Bay.

In a compliance report submitted to the Supreme Court yesterday, Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya Jr. told the high court that the fund allocation was part of next year’s proposed national budget for the cleanup, restoration and preservation of the bay’s water quality.

Andaya explained the budget deliberations for the fiscal year 2010 National Expenditure Program will commence September of 2009 and will continue until the same is passed by Congress and approved by the President as the General Appropriations Act of FY 2010.

He said the recipients of the P1,644,721,000 fund allocation include proposed programs, projects and activities of DENR and MMDA.

Secretary Andaya and five other members of the Cabinet were among the heads of 10 government agencies whom an environmentalist lawyer wanted to be cited for contempt by the Supreme Court for failing to comply with the court’s requirement for regular progress reports in connection with the Manila Bay cleanup.

The other officials were Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap, Public Works Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane, Education Secretary Jesli Lapus, Jojo Allado of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System, and the heads of the Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine Ports Authority and Maritime Police.

The DBM report strressed that the biggest allocations related to the Manila Bay cleanup are those for the MMDA’s solid waste disposal and management that cost P848,525,000, and the relocation of informal settlers on open waterways in Metro Manila, P250 million.

The MMDA share includes P223,626,000 for operational support, maintenance, repair and rehabilitation of flood control systems costing, and P100 million for the mitigation of floods in the Gil Puyat Avenue-South Superhighway area.

The MMDA’s flood control and drainage projects in Metro Manila were given P58 million, while its urgent disaster flood control projects under the Pasig-San Juan-Marikina River systems and other areas were allocated P50 million.

The top recipient under the DENR programs is the Environmental Management Bureau’s monitoring of waterways, including the Manila Bay. The program was given a budget of P75.57 million.

The Office of the Environment Secretary was given P35 million for programs related to rehabilitation of the bay.

Of the amount, P20 million was set aside for physical and water quality, monitoring, mangrove reforestation and stream bank protection, bio-ecological monitoring, advocacy and communication, inventory of and support for dismantling of illegal structures, monitoring of industries and the natural process of cleaning up of degraded, toxic and sewage water and bodies of water.

A budget of P15 million was allotted as the office’s intelligence fund for gathering data on offenders of illegal forest extraction, illegal fish pens, smuggling of ozone-depleting substances and small-scale mining.
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Fishers, urban poor have become objects of Manila Bay clean up, not toxic firms, groups lament 

Fishers, urban poor have become objects of Manila Bay clean up, not toxic firms, groups lament

The militant fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) and the party list group Anakpawis on Thursday lamented that small fisherfolk and urban poor residents are set as primary targets of Manila Bay clean up and not industrial and commercial firms who throw toxic and other solid and water wastes into the highly degraded bay.

“In vain attempt to salvage the capital and operations of government business clients along Manila Bay, Malacañang and its government agencies focus their campaign on Manila Bay clean up against fishermen and bay people dismissing this sea of humanity as illegal structures, garbage and toxic producing entities. This is totally unacceptable,” Pamalakaya and Anakpawis said in a joint press statement.

Both groups who led Bacoor fishermen and urban residents in filing a petition last Feb.23 asking the Supreme Court to stop the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and other government agencies from pursuing the demolition of fishpens and houses, stressing that the government is abusing and exploiting the high court ruling to effectively drive them away from their main source of livelihood and fishing villages.

“Malacañang wants us to give up our fishing and housing rights because foreign investors want to reclaim and construct business empires along Manila Bay. They are banking on the SC ruling on Manila Bay clean up to facilitate and fast-track the mass murder of livelihood and fishing communities along the bay,” said Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap.

To expound his statement, the Pamalakaya leader said last Tuesday, Cavite Gov. Ayong Maliksi issued a provincial order calling on fisherfolk and urban poor residents in Barangay Sineguelasan to vacate the barangay within 15 days to allow government authorities to dismantle illegal structures in Bacoor in response to the SC ruling on Manila Bay.

“What illegal structures Gov. Maliksi is talking about? There are no illegal structures there. What is there are the houses of poor fishermen and residents trying to make a living despite poor catch due to the onslaught of massive reclamation and construction of R-1 Expressway Extension Project. The solid road which is originally a viaduct project is the illegal structure that should be eliminated in that fishing village”, said Hicap.

He said copies of Maliksi’s order were sent to the Office of Bacoor Mayor Strike Revilla and to the barangay captain of Barangay Sineguelasan on Tuesday morning.

Anakpawis secretary general Cherry Clemente lamented that Governor Maliksi is supposed to carry out a people oriented rehabilitation program based on the Supreme Court ruling on Manila Bay clean up.

“But the governor’s order is not meant to clean up the bay of toxics and environmental troubles caused by foreign funded projects and colonies of industrial and commercial establishments. His order is to clean up the bay of small fisherfolk and urban poor people to pave way for foreign funded government projects,” she said.

“The Governor of Cavite, who is one of the proponents of the R-1 Expressway Extension Project that involves the reclamation of 7,000 hectares of coastal areas in Bacoor and nearby municipalities exploited the Supreme Court ruling to facilitate the displacement of not less than 26,000 fishing and urban poor families from their main source of livelihood and communities,” she said.

Clemente maintained that the reclamation projects, along with polluting factories and commercial establishments are the main sources of pollution and main perpetrators that led to the sorry state of Manila Bay, and not the fisherfolk and the urban poor dwellers residing along the coastal shores of the bay.

The Anakpawis leader said her group will join Pamalakaya and other fisherfolk petitioners in filing a manifestation and urgent motion for the issuance of writ of preliminary injunction and/or temporary restraining order.

“This manifestation is meant to inform the SC that MMDA (Metro Manila Development Authority) failed to comply with the order dated March 3, 2009 to comment on our motion in-intervention and memorandum,” she said.

“The order of Gov. Maliksi shall be challenged not only in the Supreme Court, but also in the parliament of the streets, in the environmental sala of the people and in the court of public opinion. To set the record straight, Malacañang and their business partners and Gov. Maliksi should realize that Manila Bay will not exist or regain its proud and historic past without the fisherfolk and the bay people,” Anakpawis added.

Clemente said the motion will ask the high tribunal for preliminary injunction and/or temporary restraining order to enjoin and prohibit the respondents to implement the demand to vacate and/or the ongoing and future demolition of the houses of the small fisherfolk and the destruction of their fish cages, fish pens, and other sources of livelihood.

The Anakpawis official said the motion will be filed anytime this week or early next week to stop Gov. Maliksi from pursuing the demolition order in Barangay Seneguelasan, one of the affected coastal barangays in Bacoor, Cavite. #

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Fishers group slams DENR plan to ask Japanese aid to save Manila Bay

FINACIAL BARBARISM
Fishers group slams DENR plan to ask Japanese aid to save Manila Bay

Dismissing the idea as “grandslam money making scheme cloaked on environmental concern, the activist fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Saturday assailed the proposal of Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Joselito Atienza to borrow P 3.8 billion from the Japanese government to finance the sewerage and septage management project involving the rehabilitation of Manila Bay.

“Something must be done to stop this financial barbarism of Secretary Atienza. We cannot save Manila Bay by borrowing loans from other countries and allowing left-and-right corporate takeovers and plunders of Manila Bay. The proposal of the self-proclaimed environmental czar to borrow fresh loans from Japan is a super stupid act,” said Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap in a press statement.

The Pamalakaya leader said the best way to stop the environmental death of Manila Bay is to stop all foreign funded government projects in Manila Bay like the controversial reclamation of some 7,000 hectares foreshore land areas in Cavite to give way to the R-1 Expressway Extension Project and the reclamation of another 5,000 hectares of shallow coastal waters to expand Sangley Point Naval Base to make it one of the biggest international seaports in Southeast Asia.

“The P 3.8 billion loan which the Philippine government will ask from the Japanese government is part of the long-running fund raising campaign hatched by Malacañang. It is public knowledge that DENR wants a whopping P 100 billion fund for their bogus Save Manila Bay campaign,” said Hicap.

In DENR’s compliance report to the Supreme Court, Secretary Atienza announced that the government is eyeing the help of the Japanese government to finance the sewerage and septage management because the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) is having difficulty in pushing through its task of installing, operating and maintaining sewerage and sanitation facilities and efficient and safe collection, treatment and disposal of sewerage in Laguna, Cavite, Bulacan, Pampanga and Bataan due to lack of funds.

The compliance report is part of the Supreme Court order to the concerned government agencies to keep the judiciary informed on the Manila Bay clean up pursuant to the February ruling asking government departments to save the “slowly dying” Manila Bay which the high tribunal described as “a place with proud historic past”.

Secretary Atienza said officials of LWUA will submit their proposal to the Japanese government to seek grant funds, but the rest of the funding he said was still uncertain because the water agency has fully reached the limits of its equity and debt ceilings and this could no longer absorb additional financial burdens.

Atienza said Congress promised to increase LWUA’s debt and equity ceilings and they would have to wait until this was passed by the legislative branch.

On February 23 Pamalakaya questioned before the high tribunal Secretary Atienza’s aggressive use of a Supreme Court ruling on Manila Bay clean up, asserting that the environment secretary has been abusing and illegally using the SC decision to effectively carry out massive demolition of fishpens and communities in Bacoor, Cavite and other parts of the National Capital Region.

The group said the DENR secretary wants to demolish fishermen from their main source of livelihood and communities by demolishing their fishpens and by evicting them from their communities to facilitate the entry of big projects funded by foreign investors.

Pamalakaya said 60 percent of pollution entering Manila Bay comes through the Pasig River, and 80 percent of the pollution comes from industries and commercial establishments situated along the country’s major river system in the National Capital Region. Another 15 percent of the pollution that gets into Manila Bay comes from Pampanga River, which the group said, is colonized by big and small polluting factories.

“The government is blaming over fishing as a major factor in the degradation of Manila Bay. That is a flimsy and ridiculous excuse. The massive privatization and conversion of public lands and coastal communities along the bay since the Marcos dictatorship up to present administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is the principal reason why Manila Bay is under the Intensive Care Unit, and suffering from environmental comatose,” Pamalakaya said.

The militant group said no less than 20,000 hectares of Manila Bay have been subjected to reclamation to pave way for the construction of special economic zones in Bataan and Cavite, the commercial spaces presently occupied by Manila Film Center, the GSIS Building in Pasay City, the Cultural Center of the Philippines and Folk Arts Theater in Manila, and the SM Mall of Asia and other commercial companies in Pasay City.

Pamalakaya said the government intends to reclaim areas in Pasay City for the setting up of
$ 15-B Casino Project in Pasay City, and it is also inclined to reclaim another 8,000 hectares of foreshore areas in Cavite for the coastal road project from Bacoor to Sangley Point in Cavite City. The coastal project alone will evict 26,000 small fishermen and urban poor from their main source of livelihood and communities. #

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