Senator Cynthia Villar on Tuesday asked the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to stop the reclamation plan in Bacoor City, Cavite due to its threats to the protected area and the communities along the coast of Manila Bay. Villar, chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, told the DENR to recall the environmental compliance certificate (ECC) issued to the 320-hectare Bacoor Reclamation and Development Project.

The project will be building on the buffer zone of this protected area and will destroy the landscape in which the wetland now thrives,” Villar said. Villar also warned about “massive flooding” as she recalled the Department of Public Works and Highways saying that reclamation in this part of Manila Bay will cause flooding as high as eight meters in Las Piñas City. Villar said flooding was one of the grounds that she, along with 315,000 residents of Las Piñas City, Parañaque City, and Cavite, cited when they petitioned for Writ of Kalikasan against the planned reclamation of Manila Bay in 2012.

If we allow reclamation to proceed in Manila Bay, what happens now to our rehabilitation efforts? Our government has already poured precious resources into this campaign and many have already sacrificed to comply. Are we now losing the battle for Manila Bay?” Villar asked. Militant fishers’ group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) also opposed the project, fearing that more than 700 fishing and coastal families will be ejected from their houses to give way to the project. President Duterte has been consistent in his stance against any reclamation projects at the Manila Bay.

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