Bulakenyos vs airport: Not joke to pile soil on our fishponds

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FISHERFOLKS and residents in Bulakan, Bulacan have called on the local government to study thoroughly the possible effects to their source of livelihood of the unsolicited proposal of San Miguel Corporation (SMC) to build an international airport in the town.

The proposed airport project was recently approved by the Investment Coordination Committee of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

United Methodist Bulacan North District Superintendent Joseph Estadilla and spokesperson of Alyansa para sa Pagtatanggol ng Kabuhayan, Paninirahan at Kalikasan sa Manila Bay (AKAP KA-Manila Bay) on Monday cited the need to study first the circumstances of the proposed project that could affect the livelihood of fishermen, particularly in Barangay Taliptip.

The proposed project is said to be built in the 3,000-hectare fishponds, which the fishermen mostly rely on as source of their livelihood.

“It is not a joke to pile soil to the more than 3,000-hectare fishpond and it likewise not a joke to disregard the welfare of the people who might be affected by the said project,” Estadilla said.

They also refuted the earlier article in a national broadsheet newspaper that the association of fishermen in the town of Bulakan, particularly in Barangay Taliptip, will not oppose the P700-billion project.

According to Taliptip Kagawad Roberto Bauza, committee chair of Barangay Agriculture and Fisheries, they will fight for their rights and continue to oppose the construction of said aerotropolis in their area.

They lamented that there was no consultation made on this matter with them.

“We are not opposing development, However, we do not know where will be our place in the promised development of the said project. Almost all of us here depend on fishing. What will happen to the future of our children in case we will be displaced here?” Sebastian said.

The fishermen also expressed concern about the reclamation of sea once the construction of the proposed airport started, claiming it will block the flow of water from the mountains that can cause deluge not only in the town of Bulakan but also its neighboring municipalities.

p: wjg

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