New lagoon reclamation project opposed

October 23, 2011, 5:33pm

MANILA, Philippines — Congress should look into the anti-environment proposal of reclaiming some 176-hectare Las Piñas-Parañaque Coastal Lagoon for commercial purposes, brother-lawmakers said Sunday.

Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez and Abante Mindanao party-list Rep. Maximo Rodriguez said the House should step into the proposed reclamation of the nature reserve and bird sanctuary.

The Las Piñas-Parañaque Coastal Lagoon is a 175-hectare zone consisting of salt marshes, tidal areas and three mangrove-clad islands that serve as home or resting area for dozens of bird species, including the globally threatened Philippine duck and Chinese egret.

Rodriguezes said that the proposal is a violation of the Executive Order 1412, which was signed in 2007 declaring the coastal lagoon as the Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area and banning all activities that would impede its ecologically vital role as bird sanctuary.

“EO 1412 is the very law that the current government is planning to violate by reclaiming another 635 hectares in front of the sanctuary to create a new business center,” the lawmakers said.

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