Caritas Philippines calls for nationwide ban on reclamation projects

August 16, 2023 - 5:40 PM
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Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo of Kidapawan. (CBCP News)

Caritas Philippines, the Catholic Church’s social arm, has called on President Ferdinand Marcos Jr to make the ban on land reclamation projects nationwide.

Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo, its president, argued that the projects “are not in the best interest of the Filipino people”.

“We call on President Marcos to issue an executive order banning all reclamation projects, not only in Manila Bay but across the country,” Bagaforo said.

“Reclamation projects displace fisherfolks and coastal urban communities, destroy coastal ecosystems, and contribute to food insecurity,” he said.

The bishop made the appeal after Marcos ordered an indefinite suspension of at least 22 major land reclamation works in Manila Bay to assess their social and environmental impact.

The bishop made the appeal after Marcos ordered an indefinite suspension of at least 22 major land reclamation projects in Manila Bay to assess their social and environmental impact.

The president’s order came after the United States voiced security and environmental concerns over the projects near its embassy and the involvement of a Chinese firm blacklisted by Washington.

The national Caritas lamented the surge of reclamation projects in the country, particularly in Manila Bay, in recent years to create more urban spaces for commercial and industrial development.

Instead of relying on reclamation projects, the church official urged the government “to invest in sustainable development that will benefit all Filipinos, not just a few wealthy individuals.”