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Manila Bay reclamation nixed

Sen. Cynthia A. Villar has warned that the proposed reclamation of Manila Bay as site for a new international airport will cause environmental disaster.

Villar, a known advocate of environmental protection, asked the incoming Duterte administration not to pursue the reclamation project as she has filed a petition before the Supreme Court asking that it issues a Writ of Kalikasan on March 16, 2012.

The Manila Bay reclamation project, according to Villar, will destroy the Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat and Eco-Tourism Area.

Villar lamented that the airport project was being resurrected after the proposal of San Miguel Corp. to build a new airport in Manila Bay did not push through in the current Aquino administration.

She made the appeal to the President-elect Rodrigo R. Duterte following published reports that Paranaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez has urged Duterte to push through with the proposed $13-billion international airport in Manila Bay.

Under the plan, the proposed airport will use of 157 hectares of Freedom Island.

Villar pointed out that contrary to the claim of Olivarez, the Japan International Cooperation Agency proposed the Sangley Point in Cavite and beyond as a viable site of the airport and not Manila Bay in Paranaque.

The lady senator also cited the 2002 ruling of the Supreme Court, which struck down the Public Estates Authority-Amari deal as unconstitutional. The ruling stated that private companies cannot own reclaimed lands. (Mario B. Casayuran)