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Fisherfolk protest lack of relocation plan in Bulacan airport project

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The architectural plan for the multi-billion airport project in Bulacan is out.  But, where do the thousands of fisherfolk and their families figure in this?

According to the group Pamalakaya-Bulacan, the residents and fisherfolk to be displaced by the project have been left out in the plan.

“Amid the intricacy and sophistication of the airport project, the residents and fisherfolk are seemingly left out in the whole design,” Rodel Alvarez, Pamalakaya-Bulacan spokesperson, said in a statement.

The group also feared the intense flooding spurred by the airport project.

“These designs only show a one-sided view of the project where supposed convenience in transportation is being peddled to travelers, yet depriving us of the grander view that it will bring imminent flooding around coastal and low-lying areas,” Alvarez said.

San Miguel Corporation will embark on the P734-billion international airport, which is said to be the answer to the worsening air traffic congestion at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Pasay and Paranaque cities.

The local conglomerate released to the media the architectural design for the airport , said to be the country's biggest air gateway.

LOOKExterior and interior design studies of San Miguel's Bulacan airport

SMC awaits clearance from the Department of Transportation as no other competitors presented counter proposals in the Swiss challenge.

The start of construction was set by the end of the year.

According to Pamalakaya, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 3 awarded last month an environmental compliance certificate (ECC) to the Silvertides Corporation, a subcontracting company under SMC, to backfill over 2,000 hectares of fishing and mangrove grounds.

The group said they will hold a mass action at the DENR-Region 3 office in Pampanga on August 15 to protest the issuance of the ECC. 

Sought for comment, San Miguel president and COO Ramon Ang said the conglomerate "will provide free house and lots plus power boats for their livelihoods" of those who will be affected by the project. —With a report from Ted Cordero/LDF/KG, GMA News

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