Planned reclamation opposed

Posted on: February 9, 2014

Author: Charissa Luci

Report by Manila Bulletin


Senator Cynthia Villar continued to oppose the planned reclamation of the Las Piñas–Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area. In joining the celebration of the “World Wetlands Day,” she batted for the conservation of the area, included in the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance. “We should also stand up against any reclamation project (in) the area that will destroy our coastal environment, the most productive and biologically diverse landscapes known to man in an archipelagic country like the Philippines. This will do more harm than good,” Villar said. She said the country should adhere to the 1994 Ramsar Convention which calls for the promotion of “the wise use of wetlands in their territory” as well as the inclusion of “wetland conservation considerations in their national land-use planning.” The LPPCHEA, a sanctuary to migratory bird species from as far as Siberia, “needs special protection from threats, including reclamation,” she stressed. Villar said LPPCHEA’s inclusion in the Ramsar’s list is a “very prestigious distinction” not only for the cities of Las Piñas and Parañaque, but for the entire country. Other Philippine sites included in the Ramsar List are Tubbataha Reefs National Marine Park in Sulu, Agusan Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary, Naujan Lake National Park in Oriental Mindoro, Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary in Cebu and Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park in Palawan. Villar said her legal fight against the reclamation at Manila Bay continues after the Court of Appeals dismissed her appeal for the grant of a “writ of kalikasan” to avert reclamation project in the area. She warned that reclamation would cause massive flooding 65 coastal villages in the cities of Las Piñas, Paranaque and Bacoor in Cavite and would worsen floods in shoreline areas.

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