AMIDST widespread protest from residents and environmental experts, Consolacion Mayor Joannes Alegado will push through with a 235.8 hectare reclamation project, estimated to displace thousands of fisherfolk and destroy marine life.
On October 25th, during their State of the Town Address, Alegado announced that the municipal government will be undertaking a “Seafront City” reclamation project in Barangay Tayug, in partnership with private consortium La Consolacion Seafront Development Corporation (LCSDC). Prior to the announcement however, concerned citizens of Tayug, as well as many experts and civil society organizations, were alarmed with this sudden thrust from the local government. The owners of the shipyards were only informed of the project last January and stakeholders claimed the local government held no form of consultation with the affected communities.
Confronted with backlash, Alegado and the municipal government swatted off most of these concerns. As protests began to mount last August, Vice Mayor Nene Alegado claimed that these protests did not truly represent “the genuine sentiment” of Consolacion. Responding to environmental experts, the local government responded that there were no more people fishing within the reclamation area despite fishing localities having lived there for decades. According to experts, resuming the reclamation project would not only lead to the destruction of coastal ecosystems but also an increased likelihood of landslides in nearby communities.
The reclamation project has already received a memorandum of understanding (MOU) from the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) however a status quo order was issued last July, barring the municipal government from disrupting current operations in the shipyards until the main case is resolved. Other government agencies, such as NEDA, DENR, and DOF, are being called to investigate the project, with several actors questioning the project developer, LCSDC, handling a wide-scale project despite only registering in 2019 with a capital of P10M.