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US Embassy urged to take stand vs Manila Bay reclamation

MANILA, Philippines — Fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) challenged the United States Embassy in Manila to take a stronger stance against all reclamation activities in Manila Bay. 
This comes after the US has expressed concerns over major land reclamation projects in Manila Bay near its heavily secured embassy. 

The projects involved China Communications Construction Co. (CCCC), a Chinese firm blacklisted by Washington for helping Beijing construct and militarize artificial islands in the South China Sea.
The embassy also expressed concern over the environmental impact of reclamation projects in Manila Bay, raising fears that they could exacerbate flooding in Metro Manila and nearby provinces such as Bulacan, Cavite and Pampanga.
“The US Embassy is just one of the many threatened structures by the reclamation in Manila Bay," PAMALAKAYA said in a statement released on Saturday.

"A significant number of fishing structures such as mussel farms (tahungan) and stationary fish traps (baklad) were already wiped out in Cavite and Navotas to pave the way for reclamation projects,” it added.
The progressive group said the US should completely oppose every single reclamation project not only in Manila Bay but also the entire country.
"If the US embassy is genuinely concerned about the marine environment, it should express opposition against every single reclamation project in Manila Bay and throughout the country, instead of just singling out a specific project that involves a Chinese firm and threatens its security protocols,” PAMALAKAYA said.
The fisherfolk group has recorded a total of 187 reclamation projects across the Philippines, covering more than 25,000 hectares of fishing waters. Among these, 16% (approximately 30 projects) are situated in Manila Bay alone.