AGHAM – Advocates of Science and Technology for the People expresses grave concern regarding the recent report published by the Global Witness  on the New Manila International Airport, commonly known as Bulacan Aerotropolis, of San Miguel Corporation, which is also supported by Dutch corporations Royal Boskalis and Atradius Dutch State Business.
The Global Witness report highlighted various environmental and social issues which were either overlooked or ignored by both the Philippine and Dutch governments prior to the approval and implementation of the project. Environmental issues include the destruction of mangroves which can affect marine biodiversity and migratory bird populations. Social issues include the loss of livelihood and displacement of fisherfolk, lack of compensation received by affected families, and harassment and militarization of affected fishing communities. The report mentioned irregularities in the consultation and impact assessment process conducted by the project proponents.
“The recent report published by the Global Witness only strengthens our campaign against the Bulacan Aerotropolis and all other reclamation projects in the country,” remarked Jerwin Baure, public information officer and resident marine scientist of AGHAM. “There were a lot of environmental and social issues that were not properly addressed during the public hearing on the environmental impact statement of the project in 2021, yet this project was surprisingly granted an environmental compliance certificate by the DENR months later. We demand concerned agencies of both the Philippine and Dutch governments to review their decision in approving such a destructive project.”
“The Global Witness report is timely as we celebrate World Wetlands Day today,” Baure added. “Through this report, we hope that the Philippine and Dutch governments will come to their senses and do their obligation to conserve and protect our environment. The Dutch government should withdraw their support to the project and investigate whether Boskalis and Atradius committed irregularities in their involvement with the Aerotropolis project. The Marcos government and DENR should revoke the ECC and immediately stop the Aerotropolis project. Moreover, we hold Secretary Toni Yulo-Loyzaga accountable to the negative environmental and social impacts of the on-going reclamation projects not only in Bulacan but also in the entire Manila Bay and the rest of the country. We should not allow such destructive projects to continue destroying our marine environments that would further put our coastal communities to poverty and more vulnerable to climate change impacts.” ###
 Global Witness. (February 2, 2023). Runaway Risk. https://www.globalwitness.org/en/campaigns/holding-corporates-account/runaway-risk/