Manila Bay’s clean-up campaign has found a strong ally in the city of Bacoor.
For that Bacoor has received a gold award from the Department of the Interior and Local Government in recognition of its significant accomplishments in compliance with President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive for the clean-up of Manila Bay.
Mayor Lani M. Revilla received the award for Bacoor’s performance under the 2019 Manila Bay Clean Up Rehabilitation and Preservation Program LGU Compliance Assessment from the representatives of the DILG and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
The DILG is monitoring LGU compliance with environmental laws for the clean-up of Manila Bay pursuant to Administrative Order No. 16 President Rodrigo Duterte issued last year. The order created a task force in compliance to the 2008 mandamus of the Supreme Court directing various government agencies to clean up, rehabilitate, and preserve Manila Bay.
The SC ordered the DENR to fully implement its Operational Plan for the Manila Bay Coastal Strategy, which includes the reduction of illegal settlers, establishments and structures along coast lines and prevent future occupation of these shorelines.
The Bacoor City Government expects to further boost its compliance with President Duterte’s Manila Bay clean up directive through the proposed 420-hectares Bacooor Reclamation Project, particularly through its program for relocation and resettlement of informal settler families living along 10 coastal barangays of the city.
During the public hearing held last Jan. 9, where the proposed projects earned overwhelming support of the city’s residents, Mayor Lani M. Revilla noted the failure of previous efforts to clean up Manila Bay despite spending around P50 billion.
“Ang nakikita natin, reclamation ang pinakamagandang long-term solution lalo na sa may Cavitex area,” she added. Revilla pointed out that the city is readying two resettlement sites for the ISFs and fishermen living along coastal areas who would be impacted by the reclamation projects.
“Masasabi natin na ito ay isa sa mga iilang reclamation projects sa Pilipinas na may in-city relocation,” Revilla had assured the Bacooreños.
President Duterte’s order, as well as the National Economic Development Authority’s “Manila Bay Sustainable Development Master Plan” identified the need to relocate informal settlements along Manila Bay area as one of the major actions necessary for the success of the Manila Bay clean-up drive.
Revilla has given her commitment that the city government would provide a better housing package for the ISFs and fishermen directly impacted by the proposed reclamation projects.
“Ang ating Pamahalaang Lungsod, at ako bilang Mayor ay magbibigay ng firm commitment na magkakaloob ng better housing para po sa kanila,” she stressed. This commitment was also in line with Duterte’s directive of “no demolition without relocation.”
She said one of the resettlement sites being readied is a property in Molino II that would be called “Ciudad Kaunlaran,” where medium-rise buildings will be constructed with basic facilities and livelihood support programs.
A government center with social services will also be established within the site. Among the target beneficiaries for Ciudad Kaunlaran are ISFs from ten barangays of Bacoor who would be impacted by the project.
Likewise, she said properties in Barangay Alima would be developed into a Fisherman’s Village for the resettlement of fishermen living along the coastlines of Bacoor Bay, allowing the fishermen to continue plying their trade. A wharf with berthing facility will also be constructed for their use.
Directly-impacted stakeholders would participate in the planning of the resettlement package under the Community-based Initiative Approach of the National Housing Authority, according to Revilla.
As part of the city government’s support system for relocated families the city government also promised to bring to the resettlement sites the “Institutionalized Alagang Ate Lani” program, which includes various forms of social services, including job fairs and free livelihood skills training.
Among the courses included in the skills training are Beadwork, Beauty Care, Bread and Pastry Production, Cake Decoration, Candle Making, Commercial Baking, Cookery, Dressmaking NCII, Floral Arrangement, Food and Beverage Services, Hairdressing, and Massage Therapy.
Revilla’s assurance of an in-city relocation component of the proposed reclamation projects is among the major factors that helped secure widespread support of the stakeholders for the planned development.
Last Jan. 5, 2020, the Liga ng mga Barangay of Bacoor passed resolution No. 01-series of 2020, expressing support for the proposed reclamation projects in the city.
Signed by LnB President Reynaldo Palabrica, the resolution noted among others that the project “has a concrete plan for all informal settler families [that] may be affected, like decent housing as relocation site within the city and being priority for employment in all job opportunities which will be created by the project.”
The Sangguniang Kabataan Federation of the city earlier signified their full support for the projects through a letter, dated November 11, 2019, signed by SK Federation President Mac Raven Espiritu, and addressed to DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu.
In a letter signed by City Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Council of Bacoor, President Rodolfo Sartin and other council members, addressed to Mayor Revilla, the group also expressed support for the development projects.
The City Government of Bacoor is the proponent of the reclamation projects, namely Bacoor Reclamation and Development Project, consisting of a total of 320-hectare islands, and the Diamond Reclamation and Development Project consisting of one 100-hectare island via Public-Private Partnership under the PPP Code of Bacoor.
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