Philippine government urged to prioritize ecosystem integrity over dredging activities in Manila Bay 

March 16, 2023

A faith-based environmental group on Thursday called on the Philippine government to address the effects of the extraction activities on the ecosystem and communities in Manila Bay. 

Rodne Galicha, executive director of Living Laudato Si Philippines, urged authorities “to take action on the impending impacts of their so-called development” projects.

“In this period of global ecological crisis, it is imperative to opt for regenerative sustainable solutions. What we need is an integral approach that puts ecosystem integrity first where both people and other creatures benefit. In the end, we must ask ourselves: who benefits?” said Galicha. 

On Tuesday, March 14, hundreds of fisherfolk staged a fluvial parade in Rosario town, Cavite province to protest the ongoing destructive extraction and reclamation activities in Manila Bay.

Fishers group PAMALAKAYA said the  dredging activities, which started in 2021, “have inflicted substantial and irreparable harm on the marine ecosystem in Manila Bay and have resulted in a drastic decline in fish stocks, imperiling the livelihood of thousands of small-scale fishers in the province of Cavite.” 

The group renewed its call to revoke the environmental permits issued to San Miguel Corporation and the Dutch company Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. 

Fernando Hicap, national chairperson of PAMALAKAYA, said according to the study released by the country’s environment department, “the southern part of Manila Bay, particularly the province of Cavite, is still rich in coral reefs.”  

“So it baffles us that they greenlit, and continue to allow, these destructive dredging projects. The dredging activities have already caused significant harm to fishers. It must not be allowed to further damage the marine life and the livelihoods of small-scale fisherfolk in the province,” he said.

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