Philippine Bishops expressed strong reservations against several real estate projects that will reshape the Manila Bay Coastline.
Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila, Cardinal Emeritus Gaudencio Rosales and 19 bishops wrote a letter appealing President Benigno Aquino to end the proposed plan, which they warned could have social and environmental consequences.
According to a report by Fides News Agency, the Catholic leaders wrote to the President saying that “the scientific, legal and moral basis of our opposition to the reclamation echoes God’s message”.
The letter also urged President Aquino to “respond to the call of Pope Francis”, who calls on Catholics around the world to be “protectors of God’s creation”.
Experts fear that the consequences could be tragic, saying that the areas in question are already at risk of flooding.
“Will the projected economic gains sufficiently and justifiably compensate the damage in life, ecosystems and property in the future?”, the bishops stated.
“The hope of the Church is to boost tourism and cultural preservation by restoring old historical sites and buildings rather than build on reclaimed land to the detriment of the livelihood of the people and the environment.” (J.A.E.)