Bishops in dioceses that front Manila Bay have asked the government to scrap plans for a 94,000-acre reclamation project.
“For us bishops, worried about the poor who are affected severely by floods, we see that stopping the reclamation is seriously needed,” Auxiliary Bishop Bernardino Cortez of Manila told Catholic News Service.
Cardinal Luis Tagle, the country’s military bishop and bishops of 12 dioceses based in the Manila metropolitan area wrote President Benigno Aquino III, asking him to scrap the project and use the money to fund initiatives to alleviate poverty and protect the environment. Bishop Cortez said that, as of Christmas day, he had not received any response to the letter.
“Advent is a very busy time of the year for priests and bishops with Misa de Gallo (Mass of the rooster, the dawn novena Mass), so we have not been informed of any progress, but in the first week of January, Cardinal will call us together to update us on the progress of our letter on land reclamation, if any,” Cortez told CNS.
Land reclamation is the process of creating new land from oceans, riverbeds or lakes by transporting soil from an area to a body of water to create new land.
Press Release, January 3, 2014