Despite the popular support of Manila Bay rehabilitation among the netizens, Makabayan Bloc still wanted to stop the said project of the government because of their concerns.
According to the resolution signed by the said party-list representatives, they suspected that the cleaning of the said tourist spot is only part of the preparation for the controversial reclamation projects allegedly going to be implemented along Manila Bay.
“The rehabilitation program could be a prelude to 43 reclamation projects covering more than 32,000 hectares in the bay under the Build, Build, Build program,” the resolution stated.
They also suspected that Dennis Uy is being helped by the government to make his project ‘Pearl Harbor City’ hasten by cleaning up the Manila Bay.
Makabayan Bloc together with Sen. Grace Poe and Chiz Escudero
They’re also worried about the situation of the 250,000 informal settlers that would be possibly affected by the project.
“We ask the DENR to postpone or suspend the execution of the Manila Bay rehabilitation until a comprehensive and holistic study on the socio-economic impact on the affected marginalized sectors has been diligently carried out,” the petitioners said.
“There is a need to draft a genuine and democratic program that will sincerely rehabilitate Manila Bay without infringing on the basic rights to livelihood and an adequate standard of living of marginalized sectors,” they added.
This is the list of the lawmakers who signed the resolution against Manila Bay rehabilitation:
- ACT Teachers Representative Antonio Tinio
- ACT Teachers Representative France Castro
- Gabriela Representative Emmi de Jesus
- Gabriela Representative Arlene Brosas
- Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Zarate
- Anakpawis Representative Ariel Casilao
- Kabataan Representative Sarah Elago
However, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) already told the petitioners that it’s already not possible to postpone the rehabilitation of Manila Bay.
“Actually, the bay is in ICU (intensive care unit). We cannot afford an additional day of delay. Giving in to Makabayan will only make matters much worse,” DILG secretary Jonathan Malaya said.
He added: “Instead of asking for a postponement, the Makabayan bloc should instead do their part in helping the government fight the ‘Battle of Manila Bay.’ The administration has exercised the political will to do what is right. Now it’s our turn to do our part.”
Several days after they released a resolution, Makabayan Bloc clarified that they’re not against the Manila Bay rehabilitation.
“No, we do not call for the suspension or stoppage of any effort, community-based effort in cleaning up Manila Bay. We support the rehabilitation, but we wanted that the government to be transparent and lay down all the cards,” Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao said.