Various groups held a rally along Roxas Boulevard in Manila on Wednesday, October 18, demanding a complete stop to ongoing reclamation projects on Manila Bay.
Led by the environmental group Kalikasan, the demonstrators that included fisherfolks Pamalakaya, the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, Bayan Muna, and various church-based organizations and formations formed a human chain with the famous Manila Bay sunset as background.
Themed “Save Our Sunset, Save Manila Bay,” the event called on President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to implement his verbal promise of halting reclamation projects by issuing an executive order.
The demonstrators said reclamation is still ongoing despite Marcos’ order to stop the projects and conduct an investigation.
Marcos Jr. announced last August that his government has suspended all but one of the reclamation projects to allow the (DENR) to conduct a cumulative impact assessment.
The President’s order followed massive and prolonged flooding in Bulacan and Pampanga provinces after successive typhoons in July and August that dumped floodwaters from upland areas in Central Luzon.
Kalikasan said the reclamation projects impede the waters from freely flowing out into the bay, endangering entire towns in the said provinces.
Anti-Manila Bay reclamation project activists Jonila Castro and Jhed Tamayo made their first public appearance at the event after their sensational release from their military abductors last September 19.
Castro and Tamayo called on their fellow protesters to continue their campaign for Manila Bay and to save the livelihood of tens of thousands of families living around it.
Rep. Lito Atienza, former Manila Mayor and environment secretary, meanwhile condemned the corruption he said is part of the 21 reclamation projects in the bay.
This article was first published by KODAO Productions