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Bye Bye Birdies

Philippine Daily Inquirer
April 11, 2011
Business Section
Biz Buzz

Bye Bye Birdies
by Riza Olchondra

Bird lovers in Metro Manila have cause for worry these days. The government has apparently issued an environmental clearance certificate for a project that could result in the “slow death” of a bird sanctuary right alongside the Coastal Road in Metro Manila. In short, the project is a “go.”

A copy of the ECC dated March 24 and signed by lawyer Juan Miguel T. Cuna, OIC director of the environmental department’s Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), said the project “ shall cover the reclamation and development of about 635.14 hectares located along the coast of Paranaque and Las Pinas.

A letter attached to the ECC does say that the proponent is expected to make sure that “environmental considerations shall be incorporated in all phases and aspects of the project.” The EMB also said it will be monitoring the project periodically to ensure compliance with the conditions cited in the ECC.

However, a source said that while the reclamation and construction work were supposed to be in an area behind the bird sanctuary, the development would disrupt the water flow from Manila Bay and expose the sanctuary’s inhabitants to greater risk of pollution.

If the worst wipes out the birds, what will be left to love on the coast ?