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Will reclamation projects mean goodbye to Manila Bay's sunset view?

Is farewell soon to the famous and stunning sunset view in Manila Bay?

According to Maki Pulido’s “24 Oras” report on Thursday,  the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) said it will start filling land in one of the three reclamation projects this year in the bay area.

The project in Manila will start at the back of the Quirino Grandstand until Manila Yacht Club.

The permits for the projects were completed from 2019 to 2021 under the Duterte administration.

The PRA, however, said that the public will still have the view of the famous Manila Bay sunset.

“The project is a mixed development, institutional, residential, and commercial. Wala pong sina-submit sa aming plans na they are for casinos,” PRA assistant general manager Joseph Literal said.

The local government of Manila said the reclamation needs to push through to have space for the city's other developments.

“Very congested as it is ang city of Manila marami na tayong problema on traffic on where to put other developments so there is a need to create more space,” Manila LGU spokesperson Princess Abante said.

At least 5,000 hectares of Manila Bay will be needed for the total of 13 reclamation projects that have been approved.

“Lahat po ng mga pagdating sa environmental aspect po dapat po may endorsement, may approval ng Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR),” Literal said.

A marine scientist said this reclamation project will have a huge impact on the food security of the country because Manila Bay is one of the biggest sources of fish.

“Kapag maapektuhan yung fisheries production natin, dito pa lang sa Manila Bay ay affected na rin yung production at food security,” marine scientist of Agham National Jerwin Baure said.

The tons of soil needed to fill Manila Bay will come from the province of Zambales.

Some soil will also come from Cavite, raising alarm from a group that it could affect the San Nicolas shoal that serves as habitat of fish and other marine life.

“Lumiliit yung pinagkukunan natin ng pagkain habang lumalaki ang bilang ng populasyon ng Pilipinas kaya ano mangyayari dun aasa tayo sa import?” Pamalakaya national chairperson Fernando Hicap said.

The DENR and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) have yet to release a statement regarding the effects of the reclamation project on the environment.

The PRA earlier said they have projects to support the fishermen.—Richa Noriega/LDF GMA Integrated News