Church opposes Manila Bay reclamation projects

Church opposes Manila Bay reclamation projects

The Archdiocese of Manila reiterates its stance to protect Manila Bay from reclamation projects. ROY LAGARDE

By Roy Lagarde

February 26, 2019

Manila, Philippines

The Archdiocese of Manila has maintained its opposition to the government plan to develop artificial islands in Manila Bay, saying it could harm the environment.

Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said the reclamation projects are wasteful and potentially harmful to the environment.

“We, in the Archdiocese of Manila, are against the Manila Bay reclamation due to ecological grounds. It is against ecology,” Pabillo said.

Aside from hurting the ecology, the prelate said the projects would affect the poor that depends on the bay waters for their livelihood.

“It is a project for the rich and foreigners while the poor will suffer due to congestions and floodings in Manila,” Pabillo said.

“It is against the poor since it will concentrate projects in Manila rather than spreading it out in the provinces,” he added.

A total of 22 reclamation projects are planned along Manila Bay, three of which have already been approved by the government.

The Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) said that all projects cover about 11 percent of the bay’s 1,994 square-kilometer area.

In 2013, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle and 20 other bishops of the Ecclesiastical Province of Manila appealed to the government to stop the reclamation projects.

They asserted that the projects will only benefit the wealthy and big businesses to the detriment of the poor.