Home NATIONWIDE Walang katapusang dredging sa Zambales ng Chinese workers, pinaimbestigahan

Walang katapusang dredging sa Zambales ng Chinese workers, pinaimbestigahan

MANILA, Philippines – Pinaiimbestigahan sa Senado ang hindi matapos-tapos na dredging activities na isinasagawa ng Chinese workers sa dalampasigan ng Zambales na hinihinalang ginagamit sa pagtatayo ng artificial island sa teritoryong sakop ng Pilipinas.

Nitong Lunes, inihain sa Senado ang Proposed Senate Resolution No. 966 na inakda ni Senador Jinggoy Estrada, chairman ng Senate committee on national defense, na nagsasabing magkakaroon ng malaking epekto ang dredging activities nito sa pamumuhay ng residente ng Zambales na nabubuhay sa pangingisda at masisira ang kanilang pangkalahatang balance of the ecosystem.

“It is worthy for the appropriate senate committees to thoroughly look into the supposed seabed mining activities in the guise of river dredging in the province of Zambales, considering that these activities which have been ongoing for several years already pose a risk to the environment, affect the livelihood of residents, and negatively impact the once vibrant tourism in the coastal areas,” ayon sa resolusyon.

“Relevant agencies need to shed light and update the Senate, in the exercise of its oversight powers, on this important matter,” dagdag ng senador sa resolusyon.

Partikular na binanggit ni Estrada ang alalahanin ng residente ng San Felipe, Zambales sa kasalukuyang dredging activities at nakadaong na 14 dredging vessels na pinamumunuan ng Chinese crew members sa naturang munisipyo.

“The dredging activities were “justified” by San Felipe Mayor Reinhard Jeresano as these are supposed to fortify flood mitigation schemes in the heavily silted rivers and that the extracted sand is being transported to some reclamation area,” ayon sa senador.

Ayon kay Estrada, ikinatuwiran ng alkalde na nakararanas ang bayan ng pagbabaha dahil sa naipon na buhangin at lahar mula sa Mount Pinatubo eruption noong 1991.

Ngunit, ibinasura ng ilang residente ang katuwiran ng alkalde na bumabaha sa lugar, ayon kay Estrada.

Tinukoy din ng senador na isinasagawa ang dredging activities ng state-owned China Harbour Engineering Co., na pangalawa sa pinakamalaking dredging company sa buong mundo at subsidiary of China Communications Construction Co. (CCCC).

Naalala din ng senador ang pahayag ng United States Embassy noong nakaraang taon na sangkot ang CCCC, isang kompanya na blacklisted ng America sa papel nito sa konstruksyon at militarisasyon sa artificial islands sa West Philippine Sea, sa reclamation projects sa Manila Bay.

Inihayag pa ni Estrada na ang kayang “grave concerns of environmental advocates, including the Zambales Ecological Network’s documentation of the destruction caused by the dredging activities and seabed mining allegedly conducted by at least four dozen dredging vessels and cargo ships, which they said, resulted in coastal erosion and apparent damage to the San Felipe Coastal Road.”

“The group monitored the Chinese vessels were actually heading to China after conducting some dredging activities. The group also said Chinese workers are ‘trashing’ Zambales shores with plastic bottles, cigarette boxes, and other trash, which is a violation of Republic Act No. 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act,” ayon kay Estrada sa resolution.

Dahil dito, sinabi ng senador na may pangangailangan na tukuyin kung totoo o hindi na may sapat na dokumento ang Chinese workers na magsagawa ng dredging.

Binanggit din ng senador ang Administrative Order No. 2019-13 ng Department of Environment and Natural Resources na namamahala sa dredging activities sa heavily-silted river channels ng Bucao sa Botolan, Maloma sa San Felipe, Sto. Tomas na dumadaloy sa San Marcelino, San Narciso, at San Felipe municipalities sa Zambales.

“The Administrative Order 2020-07 was issued by DENR, detailing that there is no extraction limit and that only citizens of the Philippines or any corporation registered with the corporate regulator may apply for dredging clearance with relevant government agencies,” ayon kay Estrada. Ernie Reyes

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