Congress pressed to probe Manila Bay land reclamation

Land Reclamation

The House of Representatives of the Philippines was asked to take action on a resolution calling for an investigation of Manila Bay reclamation projects after nine Chinese nationals were arrested for allegedly working illegally in vessels involved in dredging.

photo courtesy of SMDC

House Deputy Majority Leader and ACT-CIS Party-List, Rep. Erwin Tulfo, said that the House should start the discussions on the issue, especially since he had filed a resolution urging for such a probe almost a year ago.

According to Tulfo, the United States Embassy was the first to express concern about the reclamation after it was learned that a Chinese company was involved in the project.

He also noted that the company China Communications Construction Co., which is in charge of the dredging and reclamation operations, is the same company responsible for building air and naval bases in territories belonging to the Philippines in the West Philippine Sea.

Before the arrest of the Chinese nationals, Bureau of Immigration Intelligence Division chief Fortunato Manahan Jr. disclosed that they immediately conducted surveillance and intelligence gathering after receiving reports that certain Chinese individuals were disembarking from and boarding vessels along Manila Bay. 

In August 2023, Tulfo and fellow ACT-CIS representatives Edvic Yap and Jocelyn Tulfo, filed House Resolution No. 1171, requesting the House Committees on National Defense and Security, and Ecology, to review the reclamation projects surrounding Manila Bay.