By: Lyle Mark Bulado
© Photo Copyright from Dumaguete City Government
The Mayor of Dumaguete City, Felipe Remollo is set to sign a deal that will destroy not only the beautiful coastline of Dumaguete City but as well as the rich and vibrant history and culture the 'City of Gentle People' is UNIQUE and KNOWN for!
Environmental scientists, youth groups, and residents are raising alarm over a proposed 174-hectare reclamation project in Dumaguete City, citing it's devastating impact on the marine environment and the coastal communities relying on fisheries for food and livelihood.
The proposed P23-billion reclamation along Dumaguete’s shoreline is a partnership between the city government and construction company E.M. Cuerpo Inc. It seeks to develop the site as a 5G-ready Minicity.
The 5G-equipped “Smart City” island is envisioned to be a mixed-use commercial and residential area, complete with malls, condominiums, hospitals, business hubs; featuring a docking port for a planned Dumaguete Yacht Club, ports for fishermen, esplanades, commercial infrastructures, and other business establishments.
Supporters say the massive project will bring much-needed jobs, and investments to the city, making it competitive with other urban areas such as Manila and Cebu that had also reclaimed land from the sea, but critics decry the haste and detrimental effects of the venture not only for it's environmental impact but most importantly its negative social impact towards Dumaguete City's humble community.
Earlier In 2019, Dumaguete City Mayor Remollo announced what was then called a "Rehabilitation Program" on the Dumaguete coastline. In reality, Remollo and private partner E. M. Cuerpo INC. were pushing a "Reclamation Project" in the City.
Dumaguete City Mayor | Hon. Felipe Antonio B. Remollo | Dumaguete City Government
Felipe Remollo was endorsed by President Rodrigo Duterte and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles in the 2019 Elections.
By December 2019, President Rodrigo Duterte's Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy A. Climatu had issued an "Area Clearance" as a GO signal for the hideous project despite there were no consultations with the Dumaguete City's local community, and despite a petition calling for an end to the project.
This Reclamation Project will directly destroy three of Dumaguete's Marine Protected Areas, literally bury the few remaining coral reef, seagrass, and soft-sediment ecosystems that support small-scale fisheries and gleaning in Dumaguete and has already affected the livelihood of fishermen, among other negative environmental and social impacts.
© Dumaguete City Government | Dumaguete City Boulevard | Dumaguete City Belfry
Despite being made public only last week, the city government headed by the City Mayor himself is reportedly scheduled to sign the joint venture with a Memorandum of Agreement together with the private firm E.M. Cuerpo Inc. today, July 12, 2021.
Groups opposing the project had criticized the lack of prior consultation, saying such undertaking would pave the way for the privatization of public spaces and have devastating environmental and social implications. They argued that the city intended to displace the urban poor in coastal communities with its project “in the interest of profit over the interest of the people."
Protect Dumaguete City's environment, natural resources, industries, and local communities!
Support the call for the end of all Reclamation and Dumaguete City's Boulevard extension projects! Sign the Petition at: https://www.change.org/p/save-the-dumaguete-coastline-its-community-and-biodiversity-noto174dumaguete