September 26, 2020
Villar says reclamation project of Paranaque government will worsen flooding, threaten protected area
Sen. Cynthia Villar today asserted that the reclamation project being pushed by the Paranaque local government will cause flooding in Cavite, Paranaque, and Las Pinas and will be detrimental to the viability of the Las Pinas-Paranaque Wetland Park.
Villar, chairperson of the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, made this statement as a response to the public hearings being called on October 1 and 2 for the creation of a 287-hectare artificial island along the coast of Manila Bay in the territorial jurisdiction of Paranaque.
“The Paranaque Reclamation Project will be building on the buffer zone of the Las Pinas- Paranaque Wetland Park. This should not be allowed to proceed because it will hamper the free flow of water which is critical to the survival of the wetland ecosystem,” Villar said. In addition it will destroy 35 hectares mangrove forest which is the spawning ground of fishes in Manila Bay supporting the livelihood of 300,000 fisherfolks in Manila Bay.
Villar also disputed project proponent and Paranaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez’s claim that the flooding will be prevented by the Imus catchment basin, saying that the infrastructure was constructed for the existing problem in Cavite brought about by the Cavite expressway. She said the Paranaque reclamation project was not considered when this was planned.
“According to former DPWH Secretary Singson, the Cavitex Expressway is supposed to be a viaduct according to plan but instead, they reclaimed Manila Bay and constructed the expressway on top of the reclaimed road which causes so much flooding in Imus, Bacoor and other places in Cavite. To address this, DPWH built the Imus catchment basin. This project is not intended to solve flooding in Paranaque and Las Pinas,” Villar said.
The lady senator also appealed to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to consider the buffer zone of the wetland park before approving any reclamation in the area.
Villar has also voiced out her opposition to the 320-hectare Bacoor reclamation project which also proposes to build on the wetland’s buffer zone
Under Republic Act 11038 or the Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System Act, the 175-hectare wetland situated South of Manila Bay is a protected area. It is also listed as one of the seven areas in the country declared as a wetland of international importance by the Ramsar Convention because of its critical role in the survival of threatened, restricted-range and congregatory bird species.