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Seabed quarrying linked to Manila Bay reclamation projects; DENR review pushed

ATM Statement | July 5, 2023

Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) stressed the link between seabed quarrying and reclamation projects as it called on the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to pursue its planned review of Manila Bay reclamation projects.

ATM National Coordinator Jaybee Garganera said that sand from various seabed quarrying sites are supplied to the reclamation projects in Manila Bay. “In particular, fishermen in Zambales report that the sand from the offshore mining in the area supply sand to Manila Bay.”

“We are highly critical of reclamation projects precisely because they involve seabed quarrying, and possibly offshore mining, which violate regulatory laws as well as negatively impact communities,” Garganera said.

Garganera said that according to fishermen participating in a focused-group discussion last week in Cavite, seabed quarrying is done close to the shore. “This is contrary to the project proponent's assurance that quarrying would be done far from the shore,” he said.

The ATM Coordinator also pointed out that the project proponent, the Philippine Reclamation Authority, held only one consultation, where only a few local leaders were invited.

Garganera said that the fishermen from Cavite also reported that quarrying is usually done at night and causes noise pollution, “which scare fishes away and deprive the fishermen of their catch”.

Adding that fishermen have not also received any financial assistance promised to them by mining companies, he noted that “the fisherfolk are clearly at the losing end of the deal.”

Garganera said it is high time that a review of the reclamation projects in Manila Bay is undertaken. “Closely related to this, we likewise call on the DENR to undertake an impact assessment or cost-benefit analysis of seabed quarrying and offshore mining projects.” #RepealMiningAct


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