Saturday, March 21, 2009

Lava Island reclamation residents fear project's effects on the environment

http://www.philstar .com/Article. aspx?articleId= 450556&publicationSubCateg oryId=107

Lava Island reclamation residents fear project's effects on the environment
Updated March 21, 2009 12:00 AM

CEBU, Philippines - Residents and environmentalists who attended yesterday’s public hearing on the proposed 60-hectare reclamation project on Lava Island, Cordova raised concerns on the possible effect of the project to the environment.

One of the participants to the public hearing said the proponent of the project should include in its environmental impact assessment the protection of the seabeds, corals and other marine specie because many of the local residents are dependent on fishing as their means of livelihood.

The project has seven components that include causeway reclamation, golf course, villa, clubhouse, hotel, dredging and electrical.

Engr. Fe Walag, one of the invited speakers, said one of the aspects for the success of reclamation project is the water supply, and external effect of the reclamation should be needed.

Based on the project rationale presented, she assured that the project would have no negative impact on the environment.

For his part, Vince Cinches, executive director of the Fishermen’s Development Center asked about the possible social impact and social dimension of the project that the proponents failed to address. He suggested they should be included also in the study.

Cordova Mayor Adelino Sitoy said the proposed reclamation project, which will feature a golf course as its main tourism facility, said the development is a municipal project that would be funded by a private entity. “Wa’y usa ka daku nga makuha sa munisipyo,” he added.

The municipality has received an unsolicited proposal to develop Lava Island from the private firm Golfsalang Phil. Inc. The project will be covered by a 20-year period contract, which is assumed as the project’s lifespan.

Present during the public hearing were local officials from Cordova, provincial government headed by Board Member Victor Maambong, chairman of the PB committee on environmental conservation and natural resources, Dr. Danilo Largo of the office of the research of the University of San Carlos, environmentalist and lawyer Benjamin Cabrido, residents and fisherfolk of the town. — Johanna T. Natavio/WAB (THE FREEMAN)

No comments: