There are about a hundred informal settler families in Cavite City who might get evicted as part of the rehabilitation efforts of Manila Bay, a region that comprises a 190-kilometer coastline from Cavite to Bataan.
Fisherfolks belonging to the Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) rebuked the plan, perceiving that business establishments violating environmental laws like the Clean Water Act were given a warning while squatter residents are confronting the chances of an entire ouster.
“We condemn this double-standard, pseudo-rehabilitation in the strongest possible terms. While business establishments that violate proper sewerage standards were only given a fair warning and grace period, coastal settlers, on the other hand, will be demolished automatically just because they can’t afford a septic tank,” Fernando Hicap, national chairman of Pamalakaya said.
“This is the sum of all our fears; we know it from the very start that the end game of this rehabilitation is to displace hundreds of thousands of poor families, mostly fisherfolk from their communities and deprive them of their livelihood. On the other hand, establishments that have been cited as Manila Bay polluters were given a second chance to address their mess,” Hicap, a fisherman from Rosario, Cavite added.
The group stated that there is a long-standing program to convert 2,700 hectares of Manila Bay waters in the part of Sangley Point in Cavite City for an international airport.
Pamalakaya said that only the government and big-shot developers will profit from reclamation, not the fisherfolk and poor families who will be removed from their communities.
News source: Manila Bulletin