Press Release
September 27, 2023

OPENING REMARKS DURING THE PUBLIC HEARING ON
Proposed Resolutions on Reclamation


COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENT, NATURAL RESOURCES, AND CLIMATE CHANGE Joint with COMMITTEE ON URBAN PLANNING, HOUSING AND RESETTLEMENT

27 September 2023 (Wednesday), 10:00 a.m.
Sen. A.B. Padilla Room 2/F Right Wing, Senate

Our agenda at today's public hearing refer to the two (2) proposed Senate resolutions filed about the land reclamation projects in the country. The first, Proposed Resolution No. 300 filed by Sen. Risa Hontiveros, aims to have an inquiry, in aid of legislation, on the large-scale land reclamation projects being undertaken on a nationwide scale that threaten coastal and marine ecosystems around the country. The second, Proposed Resolution No. 759 filed by Minority Leader Koko Pimentel, zeroes in on Manila Bay, seeking an inquiry, in aid of legislation, on the ongoing and proposed reclamation projects in Manila Bay and their latent effects to the environment, and on the evaluation process conducted by the Philippine Reclamation Authority in the approval of the reclamation projects.

Both proposed resolutions were primarily referred to the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, and Climate Change, and secondarily to the Committee on Urban Planning, Housing and Resettlement. Development.

The subject of our inquiry resonates deeply with my own advocacy. I have been fighting a long-drawn-out battle against reclamation projects in the vicinity of my home city of Las Piñas for over a decade now and I will be candid in saying that it is both exhausting and frustrating.

President Bongbong Marcos has offered a glimmer of hope by suspending these reclamation endeavors, and he requested the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to conduct a thorough study on these projects. The sustained flooding in Bulacan and Pampanga, along with recurrent floods in various parts of Metro Manila, served as a wake-up call.

Therefore, we view this inquiry, in aid of legislation, as timely. We extend our gratitude to Minority Leader Koko Pimentel and Sen. Risa Hontiveros for their vigilance. Undoubtedly, there's a need to devise legislation that effectively regulates reclamation projects and to make sure that they are not arbitrary or capricious. We urgently have to do this if we don't want to be remiss in the realization of the State's guarantee under our Constitution: to protect and advance the right

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