AN environmental group has called on new Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Antonia "Toni" Yulo-Loyzaga to halt the implementation of 46 reclamation projects at Manila Bay, saying the undertakings will not only destroy the ecosystem but also affect the livelihood of the fisherfolk.

Jon Bonifacio, Kalikasan People's Network for the Environment national coordinator, added that Yulo-Loyzaga should review all the reclamation projects approved during the administration of former president Rodrigo Duterte.

"We held a dialogue with the officials of the DENR last week and urged them to issue a strong statement, and our new Secretary Toni Yulo-Loyzaga should commit to first conduct a study before these reclamation projects will proceed," Bonifacio said.

He added his group is still awaiting a response from Yulo-Loyzaga.

Bonifacio said that during the term of Duterte, the Philippine Reclamation Authority was transferred under the Office of the President.

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"There was a haste approval of the reclamation projects, so hopefully, with the new administration, these projects will be reviewed. We are challenging the new DENR secretary to listen to the voice of the people and oppose these projects," he said.

Furthermore, affected communities were not consulted before the approval of the multimillion deals.

"The reclamation projects will start from Cavite to Bulacan.

If this happens, the Manila Bay will shrink and the coastline will be altered," said Bonifacio.

This will not only destroy the mangroves but also result in the displacement of fisherfolk.

Bonifacio cited the construction of the airport in Bulacan, saying thousands of mangroves were destroyed because of the reclamation project.

"At least 2,500 hectares of mangroves were destroyed in the construction, but the proponent only replaced the damaged mangroves with hundreds of hectares. The damaged ecosystem should be restored in the reclaimed area," he noted.

"We are not against development, but it should benefit all and not only the businesses. Fishermen in the affected communities are not even consulted and they will not gain from the projects," Bonifacio said.