UP Marine Biological Society asks immediate stoppage of Manila Bay reclamation

UP Marine Biological Society asks immediate stoppage of Manila Bay reclamation

City residents enjoy the ‘fake’ white sand of crushed dolomite rocks on a portion of Manila Bay beachfront unaware of the threat it poses to the marine eco-system in the area.

MANILA — The University of the Philippines Marine Biological Society (UP-MBS) has launched ‘Save and Defend Manila Bay’ aiming to raise awareness and a call for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to stop the reclamation project in the historic bay.

The UP-MBS said the reclamation activity will only destroy it and further damage the marine ecological system in the area.
In a message to both government agencies, UP-MBS called on the authorities to enforce and comply with the mandates set by the law and the Supreme Court in respecting the right to a balanced and healthful ecology.

In particular, the group said the DENR must as directed by the Supreme Court, implement an operational plan for the Manila Bay Coastal Strategy, which includes a moratorium on dump-and-fill projects in the bay even as the agency must also allow and respect the right of the public to access the Environmental Impact Assessment Studies as well as any environmental compliance certificates (ECCs) issued for reclamation projects.

On the other hand, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, UP-MBS said, must issue letter of objections to all dump-and-fill projects in Manila as it runs counter to the order issued by Supreme Court requiring them to restore marine life in Manila Bay. The bay is a rich sardine spawning area and source of livelihood for many local fisherfolk.

Moreover, members of the society noted the historical and cultural significance of Manila Bay to the country’s well-being as a whole.

“Stretching along Cavite, Parañaque, Pasay, Manila, Malabon, Navotas up to the provinces of Bulacan, Pampanga, and Bataan, the stretch of the Manila Bay holds a prominent place in glorious stories of the past as it witnessed battles that changed the course of our history.

Now, it is facing an environmental war against ecologically destructive dump-and-fill projects, also known as reclamation, which is described by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization as “an irreversible form of environmental degradation,” the group pointed out. (AI/MTVN)

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