Why Nadine Lustre is against construction of bridge in Siargao

March 4, 2022 - 4:25 PM
Nadine Lustre and Siargao
Nadine Lustre in this photo on her Instagram on Dec. 9, 2021 (left) and a picture of Siargao as taken from the Facebook page of tour company Save Siargao (right).

Actress Nadine Lustre is one with the groups who are opposing the construction of a bridge perceived to affect the biodiversity of what is believed to be one of Siargao‘s “most peaceful spots.”

The 28-year-old actress on Thursday took to social media to air her concerns about the supposed construction of the Union-Malinao Bridge between Brgy. Malinao in General Luna and Brgy. Union in Dapa.

Groups such as Save Siargao and the Youth Advocates for Climate Action Philippines (YACAP) Mindanao Chapter claimed that the project costs up to P144 million.

Both also denounced the initiative and its timing as the island and some of its residents have not yet fully recovered from the impacts of Typhoon “Odette” (international name “Rai”) that hit the country’s surfing capital.

RELATED: Post-Odette: Around 1.5 million houses still need rebuilding, says int’l org

Nadine was among those who called out the construction that she said would disrupt “the natural habitats of other species living in this protected area.”

“Secret Beach is (definitely) one of the most peaceful spots (on) the island. It makes me so sad to know that people are planning to build a bridge that will totally destroy this area. It will also destroy the mangroves, sea grass,” she said in a series of Instagram Stories.

“Homes of locals will be destroyed and jobs will be lost as a result of this bridge. The island hasn’t completely recovered from Typhoon Odette. People are starving, homeless and dealing with trauma every day. I wish this was more prioritized than anything else,” Nadine added.

“People fall in love with Siargao because of its raw, natural beauty and (its) community. Malinao is already beautiful as it is. Secret Beach should be preserved. Improvement isn’t always about pouring concrete. If we’re all respectful and protective towards the environment, our lives—including every other living thing that co-exists with us—will improve greatly,” she further said.

Nadine also shared the same sentiments on her Twitter account.

YACAP likewise called the construction a “misaligned project” that “allows people to access only a few establishments.”

“Siargaonons are in dire need of concrete and tangible post-disaster plans that will help them bounce back,” it said on a Facebook post.

The organization also said that the project has “explicit violations of environmental laws.”

“First, the project would destroy Malinao’s mangrove reserve which serves as nursery areas for a lot of local aquatic life forms. Thus, pushing through the project would be greatly devastating to the ecosystem,” the group said.

“Furthermore, the area is not recommended for massive construction as it is sandy and flood-prone. This means that the bridge would threaten resorts and tourist spots around the vicinity, interfere with future development projects of local businesses, and put the lives of Siargaonons at stake,” it added.

The organization furthered that the funds allotted for the bridge should instead be focused on “disaster reparations and ensuring that the community is genuinely adaptive and resilient” as there are still homes that are “still leveled on the ground.”

Podcaster and ABS-CBN employee James Banaag called the attention of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources after seeing Nadine’s IG Stories.

“Hands down to @hello_nadine and her love and compassion for the island of Siargao. I hope the @DENROfficial re-evaluates the Union-Malinao bridge project. The natural beauty of the place, as well as people’s lives, will be affected,” he tweeted.

Siargao Island is recorded to be home to hundreds of species of flora and fauna, as well as diverse species of animals from the aquatic and terrestrial habitats.