Militant fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Sunday opposed the plan to construct a P122.8-billion road dike around Laguna de Bay saying it will displace thousands of families living near the lake.
The Department of Public Works and Highways said the 47-kilometer road dike will prevent floodings in Laguna lake communities and will serve as an alternate route from Bicutan, Taguig to Los Banos, Laguna.
“Base on our experience, road dike is not the solution to prevent flooding in Laguna Lake communities. But it will only worsen the situation because the dike will block the free flowing of water in the lake,” said Pamalakaya vice-chairperson Salvador France said in a statement.
France fears that the road dike project will displace thousands of small fisherfolk families living near the lake.
“This project will limit the fishing habits of the small fisherfolks because the dike will block the boats from going to their fishing grounds. In effect, the Aquino administration is depriving small-fisherfolk from their livelihoods. The president think that he can mislead the fisherfolks, we already knew that it is not just the road dike they are planning to build around the Laguna Lake,” he said.
“They want the road dike because sooner, they will use the lake for eco-tourism purposes. And the only ones who will benefit in the development are the investors and developers of different projects,” he added.
Besides the proposed international airport project in Talim Island, the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) also intends to build road dikes and infrastructures around Laguna Lake under the framework of its Laguna Lake Master Development Plan.
“The fisherfolks are not that dumb like him to think that we can’t perceive that LLDA’s Master Development Plan and Aquino’s Public-Private Partnership (PPP) are meant to destroy the livelihoods of the poor fisherfolks. It is crystal-clear that the LLDA’s master development plan intertwined with Aquino’s PPP,” France added.
“Why not allot the P122.8 billion to the rehabilitation of Yolanda affected areas which claimed thousands of lives in Eastern Visayas and distribute at least 100,000 fishing boats to revive fish production and livelihood affected by the super typhoon,” he said.