An association of fishermen in the Philippines on Monday urged the Danish construction firm Ramboll to stop pursuing a reclamation project in Cavite City for the construction of an international seaport and airport there, 12 km Southwest of the capital Manila.
Salvador France, vice chairperson of the Pamalakaya association said Ramboll Group should back off from the project in Sangley Point in Cavite City that would be detrimental to thousands of fishermen and urban poor residents in the area.
Salvador France made the appeal to Frantz Knudsen, project director of Ramboll Group based in Copenhagen.
“The large-scale reclamation project in Sangley Point will send the fishing villages of Bacoor, Noveleta, Kawit, Rosario and Cavite City to the deathbed of environmental catastrophe and destruction. The reclamation plan will kill the livelihood of tens of thousands of fishermen and other people dependent on Cavite’s fishing for their day-to-day survival,” France said to The Philippine Star.
Frantz Knudsen and his team of European airport construction experts will arrive in November to work on the feasibility study of the country’s newest international airport and seaport that the local consortium All-Asia Resources and Reclamation Corp. (ARRC) plans to build.
The Ramboll Group announced that consultative meetings were held with officials of several government agencies, including the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA), Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Tourism, National Economic and Development Authority, Manila International Airport Authority, Philippine Ports Authority, and the Philippine Navy and Philippine Air Force.
The Ramboll Group confirmed claims made by William Tieng, chair of the Solar Group, the lead local partner of ARRC, that the consortium’s foreign partners were bullish about the Philippines and its development prospects, particularly the development of the country’s newest international gateway.
Salvardor France also called on Malacañang, which is the official residence and workplace of the President of the Philippines, to cancel the project and order the Ramboll Group to abort the feasibility study.
He said that Malacañang should shelve the project and instead think of better ways on how to resolve hunger and poverty plaguing all coastal areas and fishing villages of the province.
He adds that the Sangley Point reclamation project will be met with strong opposition from affected fishermen and residents.
“We will involve the people from north to south of Manila Bay to fight this millennium sellout of national patrimony to transnational giants. We will not allow this exportation of surplus capital by foreign monopolies to wreck havoc on people’s lives and environment,” France said according the Philippine Star.