Nagsanib pwersa ang ilang environmental at concerned groups para ipanawagan ang pagpapahinto sa planong reclamation projects sa Manila Bay.

Ayon sa nag-organisa ng 2nd People’s Summit on the Impacts of Reclamation na People’s NICHE (Network for the Integrity of Coastal Habitats and Ecosystems), layunin din ng pagtitipon na talakayin ang mga inaasahang epekto sa komunidad ng panukalang pagtatambak ng lupa sa bahagi ng karagatan.

Ito’y matapos aminin ng grupo na hindi lang sa Manila Bay may mga planong reklamasyon.

Batay sa pag-aaral ng People’s NICHE, 80-porsyento ng reclamation projects sa buong Pilipinas ang naka-sentro sa Manila Bay.

May ilang proyekto rin umano ang ikinakasa sa bahagi ng Cebu, Iloilo, Laguna, Cagayan de Oro, Iligan City, Davao City, Davao del Norte, Batangas, Bacolod City, Palawan at Aklan.

“We need a national reclamation moratorium to avert the impending ecological crisis expected from reclamation policy developments under President Rodrigo Duterte. At least 11.24 million people may significantly be impacted by reclamation projects covering 39,414 hectares of threatening coastal and marine landscapes across the country,” ayon sa grupo.

“It is hoped that the outcomes of this convergence will help usher in an era of ecological restoration, and not devastating reclamation, for our coasts and the people whose lives depend on its integrity.”

Para sa grupo People’s NICHE nakakabahala ang banta ng reclamation projects sa ekta-ektaryang wetlands at marine habitats kung saan naninirahan ang migratory birds at isda.

“These are the green corridors that are our first and last line of defense from growing risks of storm surges, floods and other disasters.”

Aabot sa higit 200 mangingisda, miyembro ng church groups at indibidwal mula sa urban poor sector ang dumalo sa dalawang araw na summit mula March 26 hanggang 27.

Ilan sa mga kilalang personalidad na nagsalita bilang panel of speaker sina UP professor Atty. Jay Batongbacal at Oceana Vice Pres. for the Philippines Dr. Gloria Estenzo-Ramos.

“Dumping and filling of critical marine support systems in Manila Bay are not only violating our laws; these deprive our artisanal fisherfolk of their living and substenance as well as fisheries and biodiversity which are heavily impacted,” ayon kay Estenzo-Ramos.