The People’s Development Council submitted yesterday its position paper/letter to the Sangguniang Panlungsod opposing the planned 174-hectare coastal reclamation project in Dumaguete City, citing at least two immediate concerns.
The PDC was established through a city ordinance to act as “partners” of the local government on policy formulation, among other concerns and endeavors.
The PDC is the latest sector/group to issue a statement against the P23-billion unsolicited proposal of EM Cuerpo Inc. to the city government for a massive offshore reclamation that would pave the way for a “Smart City”, complete with 5G technology, high-rise buildings, malls, waste water treatment facilities and other businesses aimed at generating jobs and pump-priming the local economy.
“These past days, PDC members were shocked and worried over the 174-hectare reclamation project that was reported on social media,” the letter read.
The group said that after having gleaned additional information based on Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo’s presentation on the project and other sources, it is raising two major proposals – the holding of a public consultation and seeking transparency regarding the planned venture.
The PDC also emphasized the need to consult scientists and other experts to determine the project’s impact on the environment and the people.
On transparency, they said the people must be informed about everything regarding the reclamation project, such as the processes, the people, private sectors, and others involved in it, the group said.
The PDC is asking the mayor and members of the SP to rescind the resolution granting authority to the local chief executive to enter into a memorandum of understanding between the city and the proponent, conduct massive public consultation, and present all documents from the proponent, the MOU, subcontractors, and others.
The letter noted that the PDC is a body created by virtue of a city ordinance for the establishment of a partnership between the city and non-government organizations, people’s organizations, and the private sector.
PDC representatives sit on 11 standing committees of the Sangguniang Panlungsod as mandated by the ordinance to help in policy formulation, but the group said in its letter, “We feel that we are being ignored.”*PNA