Bacolod: Group demands reclamation project explanation

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Bacolod City – Members of the Bacolod Against Reclamation Movement (BARM) are calling on the City Government of Bacolod to call for a public hearing, to explain to them its proposed reclamation project in the city’s barangays of Banago, 1, and 2, that will cover more than 1,000 hectares.
BARM lead convenor Berlita Ante said they are alarmed, because if implemented, the proposed project will affect about 10,000 households, including 2,000 small boat owners and vendors, whose livelihood is dependent on fishing along the shorelines of Banago. It will also have an effect on the supply of fish for the whole of Bacolod.

They have submitted a position paper to the City Council and various government agencies interposing their strong opposition to the unsolicited proposal of the Bacolod Reclamation Gateway Corporation to reclaim 621 hectares along the shorelines of barangays Banago, 1, and 2. However, they have not received any reply until now, she said.

Ante said that even the 13 coastal barangays in Bacolod are alarmed because thousands will lose their livelihood if the reclamation project will push through. Who will benefit from this anti-poor project? she asked.
The residents that will be affected by the project have no relocation site and cannot afford the tenement housing project to be built by the city. Housing projects for urban poor families should be subsidized by the government, Ante said.

But it appears that the housing project in Bacolod has become a business venture, she said.

They challenged the Bacolod City Government and the national agencies concerned to observe due process and consultative mechanisms provided under Section 16, Article Xll of the Philippine Constitution, which gives the people and their organizations the right to participate in all levels of social, political and economic decision-making, Ante added.

(Chrysee Semillano via tvds photo by tvds)

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