Destruction in Development
I. The LPPCHEA and the problem it faces
In an urban environment like the Metro Manila, it is rare or maybe quite impossible to find a place we can call a “sanctuary”, a sanctuary for the environment, for animals and for humans. However, somewhere in the south area of the Metro lays this ecosystem we can somehow call a sanctuary. Bounded by the borders of the Las Pinas River on the south and Paranaque River on the north is the Las Piñas – Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area.
The Las Piñas – Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area or the LPPCHEA is “a 175-hectare protected area that consists of mangroves, lagoons and ponds located in the Manila Bay coastal area in the cities of Las Piñas and Parañaque. This mangrove forest and marine habitat also serves as a Bird Sanctuary for endemic and migratory birds.” As declared by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources or the DENR, the LPPCHEA is the first Critical Habitat established in the country. There are about 80 “Avian residents” which serves as the “visitors of LPPCHEA” as they migrate from country to country, or even continent to continent. Some of which is the Philippine Duck, Great Egret, Grey Heron, Yellow Bittern, Osprey, Eurasian Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon, and many more.
For so many years, these “coastal wetlands” have served its purpose for these different types of birds, helped maintain marine life and habitat and at times, also contributed to the city’s protection and provided a breathing space for residents and people in Manila. But all this may change if the “Philippine Reclamation Authority or the PRA pushes through with extensive reclamation and real estate development plans in that part of Manila Bay.” According to Inquirer Opinion article by Liuag, the proposed Three Island Reclamation and Development Project, a P14-billion joint venture of the PRA...