Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Pamalakaya to Bong Revilla: 'Stop your father’s Sangley dream'

The Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) is objecting to the reclamation of coastal areas along Manila Bay to give way to the development of Sangley Point in Cavite City.

The activist fisherfolk alliance on Thursday called on Sen. Ramon “Bong" Revilla Jr to convince his father Ramon Sr, a former senator and concurrent chair of the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA), to scrap the project because it would affect fishermen in Cavite.

Revilla Sr wants to transform Sangley Point, a former US Naval Station, as an international logistics hub in Southern Tagalog region.

“Senator Bong Revilla, as chair of the Senate Committee on Public Works and Highways, must listen to the voice of the fisherfolk and the people in general who are affected by this across-the-bay reclamation project of his father to pave way for the transformation of Sangley Point into an international port harbor in the tradition of Hong Kong and Singapore," Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said in a statement.

Revilla Sr had talked about his dream to develop the Sangley Point as an international logistics hub where casinos, hospitals, call centers and recreational centers would be built.

But before construction could take place, the PRA must first reclaim coastal areas in Manila Bay, particularly in the coastal towns of Bacoor, Tanza, Noveleta, Kawit and Cavite City.

Hicap said the reclamation project would displace not less than 26,000 fishing families along the bay from Bacoor to Cavite City. He said the reclamation would also fast track the “death of Manila Bay" as a major fishing ground in the country.

Pamalakaya said Senator Revilla, as chairman of the powerful Senate Committee on Public Works and Highways, could intervene in favor of the collective interest of the people in Cavite.

Revilla Sr, a strong ally of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, said the P 200-billion Sangley Point Development Project can lead to various businesses and if completed could rival other major international ports in Asia like that in Singapore and Hong Kong. It is also seen to generate jobs to people of Cavite.

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