Chiz Escuder

PBBM baked on suspension of Manila Bay reclamation

August 9, 2023 Camille P. Balagtas 230 views

SENATORS urged the need to support President Ferdinand Marcos in his controversial decision to suspend the reclamation in Manila Bay citing the fact that the flood in various areas is already damaging many parts of the country.

Senator Cynthia Villar considered the decision of the President as good news and a good move.

“I am happy that President Marcos is suspending the reclamation in Manila Bay. This is good news to us who are afraid of the ill effects of reclamation which will cause massive flooding in our cities,” Villar said.

Sen. Francis Chiz Escudero on Wednesday said the government should ensure that appropriate charges are filed against erring public officials or individuals if there are sufficient evidence against them in relation to the controversial Manila Bay Reclamation Projects.

Escudero said he is supporting President Marcos’ decision to suspend ongoing reclamation projects in Manila Bay, except for one, after he received reports of problems in their implementation.

Escudero, who earlier cautioned Malacañang against blocking the reclamation projects solely on the basis of the United States government’s concern over “long-term environmental impact,” clarified he is not opposing a review “as long as it is evidence-based, and not arbitrary.”

If the investigation eventually finds corruption or irregularity in the granting of the environmental permits, they should rectify it if it can still be rectified “taking into account the huge investments involved.”

“Make sure that it will not have any adverse impacts on our environment, given climate change, as well as the safety and convenience of our people in potentially affected areas,” Escudero pointed out.

“Lastly, if any will be cancelled or rectified, appropriate charges to be filed against erring officials and individuals in order to exact accountability/responsibility para hindi na tularan pa ng iba,” he added.

The planned 24 reclamation projects in Manila Bay aim to create new land for commercial and residential development. According to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) these will occupy 9,000 hectares of the sea, bigger than the combined size of the cities of Manila, Makati, Pasay, San Juan and Pateros.