CEBU CITY – The Regional Development Council in Central Visayas (RDC-7) has called on all stakeholders and government agencies to carefully study the impact of the proposed 234.8-hectare reclamation project in Consolacion, northern Cebu on the local economy.
The reclamation project, spearheaded by La Consolacion Seafront Development Corp. (LCSDC), aims to create a so-called “Seafront City,” which would supposedly turn the foreshore, offshore, and seas within Consolacion into an international economic hub.
“We hope that the Consolacion project is backed up by sound financials and business plans, as well as environmental impact studies. We also hope that their financial partner has relevant experience and the financial muscle for the project,” said Gordon Alan Joseph, chairperson of the RDC-7 Infrastructure Development and Power Sub-Committees, in a statement on Tuesday.
The RDC-7 said stakeholders such as shipyards and fisherfolk have raised concerns that they were not included in stakeholder discussions regarding the reclamation project.
“It is now up to the project proponents and the affected stakeholders to meet to discuss environmental and business disruption mitigation measures and see to it that these are implemented,” Joseph said.
Shipyards and fisherfolk have said the reclamation project would displace them, and the project does not propose any measures designed to prevent the loss of livelihood.
Shipyards have also filed a case in court, challenging Consolacion Mayor Joannes Alegado’s decision to shorten their business permits.
There have been environmental concerns that were raised about the reclamation project, such as the narrowing of the water passageway, that could lead to stronger floods in the communities of Consolacion.
Shipyards have also said the narrowing of the passageway could lead to increased risks of ships hitting infrastructure within the navigational area, according to the RDC-7 statement.
“Our last hope is that this project is designed as a green, world-class smart city project and not just another unplanned landfill,” Joseph said.
LCSDC has not made a request for endorsement of the reclamation project to the RDC-7.