In 2019, the Municipal Development Council of Consolacion issued Resolution No. 2, series of 2019, entitled, “Resolution Favorably Endorsing the 200 Hectares Reclamation Project for Economic Development Zone at Tayud, Consolacion, Cebu.” After receiving the support from the Cebu Provincial Government, the Sangguniang Bayan of Consolacion authorized Municipal Mayor Joannes P. Alegado to enter into a Public-Private Partnership Development Contract of reclamation (“PPP Contract”) with La Consolacion Seafront Development Corporation (“La Consolacion”) for the planning, financing, construction, and development of a 231.35-hectare Consolacion reclamation project on the foreshore and offshore area in Brgy. Tayud, Consolacion, Cebu.
The proposed area of the reclamation project is a “wetland zone” recognized by the DENR as a Key Biodiversity Area (KBA)*, due to the bird biodiversity and thriving mangrove forests. The Biophysical Assessment conducted on the area found that the waters surrounding the proposed project site are home to seventy-five (75) coral species, fifty-one (51) macrobenthic invertebrates, and seven (7) mangrove species. The interplay between mangroves and coral reefs provides a synergistic system that supports at least 500 fisherfolks in Consolacion, Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu, and even as far as the Municipality of Liloan.
The great expanse of mangrove, the mud and sand flat habitats, and distant foreshore reefs around the bay have not only fostered socio-economic activities in the area but has also helped stabilize shorelines, prevent erosion, protect the land and its residents from waves and storms, filter pollutants and improve overall water quality. The effects of the proposed reclamation will negatively impact the productivity of these mangroves, increase tidal velocity, and narrow the surrounding waterways.
Without a doubt, this reclamation project will only reduce the volume of water that is supposed to flow to the innermost part of Cansaga Bay. And if this happens, the livelihood of fisherfolks, fish pond owners, other businesses, and residences will be gravely affected. The accompanying closure of shipyards and other thriving businesses in the area will result in the unemployment of thousands of workers, displacement of the local fisherfolks, and the ultimate destruction of the coastal environment.
Therefore, we call upon the LGU of Consolacion and all other concerned government agencies to uphold the right of every Filipino to a balanced and healthful ecology, uphold the constitutional guarantee of preferential access to municipal waters for the marginalized fisherfolks, especially during this period of a pandemic where food and income opportunities have become challenging, and most especially now that we are in a climate crisis and our people extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
As a government for the people and by the people, you should uphold a transparent, consultative, and participatory decision-making process to ensure we take the best options possible and ensure that the invaluable marine resource is protected to best promote the greater good of all.
Save Cansaga Bay! Save our mangroves! Say #NoToConsolacionSeafrontReclamation
*Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA) are sites that contribute significantly to the global persistence of biodiversity, in terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems. They represent the most important sites for biodiversity conservation worldwide and are identified nationally using a Global Standard from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).