Ocean conservation group lauds Mayor Duterte for scrapping reclamation project

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/04 August) – An international ocean conservation and advocacy organization lauded City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio for junking the joint venture agreement with Mega Harbour Port and Development Corporation for the construction of a 200-hectare coastal reclamation project.

In a letter to Duterte dated August 2, Oceana-Philippines vice president Atty. Gloria Estenzo Ramos said they commended the mayor’s decision to junk the deal signed by her father, then mayor and now President Rodrigo R. Duterte, with the company.

“Oceana commends your inspiring leadership in ensuring a safe and sustainable present and future for your constituents and beyond and terminating the joint venture agreement for the proposed reclamation project in Davao City,” she said.

She said making an assessment of the situation at hand and coming up with a decision that “takes into consideration the welfare of both your constituents and the environment are both admirable and much-needed in this era of consequences where the resiliency of our natural life support systems and the people is a top priority.”

She said the oceans are already facing several threats from human activities, such as overfishing, destructive fishing practices, illegal fishing, illegal dumping, seabed mineral extraction, noise pollution, habitat destruction plus unsustainable and destructive development programs.

She said the organization was highly encouraged that more sustainable initiatives to protect and conserve the seas are being put into practice under the leadership of Duterte.

She said they agrees with the mayor that the way to answer the call of economic growth should be through implementation of highly sustainable projects, both commercially and environmentally.

Last July 25, Duterte said her decision came ”after weighing out the intentions of the project against its commercial viability, legal and social implications, and the project’s possible effects to the environment.”

“I assure you, all Dabawenyos, that in coming up with this decision, the paramount consideration has been your welfare and the future of Davao City,” she said. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)