Sunday, January 06, 2013

SOS Manila Bay Coalition launched; People's Petition against reclamation of Manila Bay initiated

The SOS Manila Bay Coalition against the reclamation of Manila Bay was formally launched last January 5, 2013, Saturday at the Manila Yacht Club. For information on the reclamation project and the reasons behind the opposition, below is the petition that is circulating among Manila residents and concerned citizens.


Whereas, Manila Bay, covering the areas of Manila, Pasay, and Paranaque was reserved for the purposes of a national park under Proclamation 41 in 1954 by President Ramon Magsaysay, to be known as the Manila Bay Beach Resort;

Whereas, Republic Act 7586 issued in 1992, recognized the value of having a national park in the Manila Bay area and included it in the National Integrated Protected Areas System Act of 1992 notwithstanding the fact that portions of the Bay area of Pasay and Paranaque had already been reclaimed;

Whereas, the City Council of Manila passed City Ordinance 7777 on January 13, 1993 prohibiting any form of reclamation along Manila Bay from the U. S. Embassy to the Cultural Center of the Philippines, which Ordinance was approved by Alfredo S. Lim as Mayor of Manila and Jose L. Atienza as Vice-Mayor and Presiding Officer of the City Council of Manila;

Whereas, on June 6, 2011, the City Council of Manila passed City Ordinance 8233 amending Ordinance 7777 and all rules and regulations inconsistent with the Ordinance, and authorizing the Mayor of Manila, Alfredo S. Lim, to file an application with the Philippine Reclamation Authority to reclaim certain portions of the Manila Bay;

Whereas, the City of Manila  signed a contract with Manila Gold Coast Corporation as contractor for the reclamation without a genuine consultation with the people, and in apparent contradiction with Republic Act No. 7586;

Whereas, Republic Act No. 7586 dated 1992 declares among others that the Manila Bay should be among the areas considered as a protected landscape and seascape of national significance which is characterized by the harmonious interaction of man and land while providing opportunities for public enjoyment through recreation and tourism within the normal lifestyle and economic activity of these land areas;

Whereas, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines declared the Manila Bay and Waterfront from Del Pan Bridge to the Cultural Center of the Philippines on Roxas Boulevard as a National Historical Landmark, and is thus protected by Republic Act No. 10066, “The National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009”;

Whereas, the Philippine Tour Operators Association has launched a campaign to make Manila the center of culture, arts and recreation with our heritage landmarks, open parks, the boulevard, and the Manila Bay sunset at the forefront;

Whereas, the area of Manila Bay along the historic districts of Ermita, Malate and Intramuros have been important culture, art and tourism destinations whose potential should be maximized along what other great cities have done for their waterfront and historical districts and improved rather than destroyed;

Whereas, the present aggressive development of the area cannot be supported by the existing infrastructure, and extreme pressure is being placed on already inadequate water and power supply, traffic,  sewage and sanitation — problems so far not solved, which can only worsen with reclamation;

Whereas, excessive groundwater extraction brought about by the growing population of Manila has caused the lowering of the land surface by several centimeters to more than a decimeter a year in the areas of Ermita, Malate and Intramuros;

Whereas, the lowering of the land level is causing floods to worsen year by year, and any reclamation made would be built at a higher grade causing rainwater to flow back into an already flood-prone area, destroying the already fragile ecological balance;

Whereas, the coastal areas along the Manila Bay are at highest risk for liquefaction in earthquake scenarios;

Whereas, the Philippines suffers from a geographic disadvantage because it is one of the countries in the world which experiences the highest rate of sea level rise and any physical changes in the coastline will affect the way weather systems form, approach and behave on land;

Whereas, it is extremely important for all stakeholders to understand how these reclamation plans will impact our human communities, coastal and marine geology, biodiversity, heritage structures, and climate change;

Whereas, the planned reclamation of Manila Bay and the planned development of the area will directly affect the entire community made up of residents, businesses, tourism establishments, cultural heritage centers, and the Filipino people, and will destroy all hopes of making Manila the center of culture, arts, recreation, and tourism;

Therefore: We, our consortium, which includes registered voters of the City of Manila, are united in making the following PROPOSITIONS to the Sanggunian Panglungsod of the City of Manila:

1. Repeal City of Manila Ordinance 8233 and restore City of Manila Ordinance 7777;
2. Stop the planned and future reclamation of Manila Bay between the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the U. S. Embassy;
3. Cancel the contract between the Manila City government and the Manila Gold Coast Corp;
4. Enact a master plan that maximizes the opportunities and potential of the waterfront for the enjoyment of the people.

Signed on this 5th day of January, 2013.

Alyansa ng Maralita ng Maynila Laban sa Reklamasyon ■ Artist Welfare Foundation, Inc. (AWFI) ■ Care for the Earth - Malate Catholic Church ■ Care for the Earth - Vicariate of the Nuestra SeƱora de Guia ■ Cinemalaya Filmmakers ■ CCP Employees Association ■ CCP Resident Companies ■ Cultural Center of the Philippines ■ Day by Day Ministry ■ Ecological Society of the Philippines ■ Heritage Conservation Society ■ ICOMOS Philippines ■ International PEN (Poets and Playwrights, Essayists, Novelists) ■ Kabataan Partylist ■ Kalikasan Partylist ■ Kutitap Storytellers Groups ■ National Theater Festival Network ■ Old Manila Walks ■ Philippine Art Education Association ■ Philippine Association of Theater Designers and Technicians (PATDAT) ■ Philippine High School for the Arts ■ Philippine Legitimate Stage Artists Group (Philstage) ■ Philippine Tour Operators Association ■ Piano Teachers Guild ■ Printmakers Association of the Philippines ■ Save Philippine Seas ■ Theater Actors Guild ■ Ugnayan ng Manunulat sa Pilipinas ■ Walk This Way (Celdran Tours) ■ World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Philippines

Sign the petition here. Join the coalition, like the SOS Manila Bay Facebook page. Use the Twitter hastag #SaveManilaBay

News Articles
Coalition vs reclamation: Keep Manila Bay ‘sacred’
Goodbye beautiful sunset? Groups protest Manila Bay reclamation project
Citizens coalition opposes reclamation of Manila Bay along Roxas Blvd
Mania Bay reclamation project faces continued opposition
Standoff looms over Manila Bay reclamation project
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