Mas malala pa sa POGO? DENR eyes DND, DFA screening amid fears of Chinese influx from Manila Bay reclamation projects

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) under Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga said it wants more government agencies involved in the review and approval process of reclamation projects amid issues involving Chinese companies.

The DENR chief floated the idea in a Senate hearing weeks after President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. stopped all ongoing reclamation activities at Manila Bay, majority of which are being carried out by Chinese corporations.

“We are now reviewing all the conditions that have been attached to the ECC (environmental clearance certificate) and the AC and among these are in fact the compliance to the Philippine Navy’s requirement,” she said, referring to security risks earlier flagged by the military regarding these Chinese reclamation projects.

Chinese workers have been brought in to work on these projects.

“However, it is in the context of the additional context of the geostrategic concern that we are now recommending that in fact this be elevated not just to the Navy or any branch of service, but to the specific department, which is the Department of National Defense for clearance and the Department of Foreign Affairs as well,” she added.

Should DND and DFA agree to the DENR’s proposal, more permits would have to be secured for future reclamation projects, and the processing time to obtain clearances might be longer.

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