Oceana, an international advocacy organization dedicated to protecting the world’s oceans since 2014 which strongly opposes the project said in a statement they submitted to EMB after the public hearing on Monday that SMAI has not complied with environmental laws and EIS regulations which is tantamount to violation of the substantive and procedural rights of stakeholders under various laws.
“We point out the following glaring non-compliance, violations, misrepresentations, and non-disclosure by San Miguel Aerocity, as the NMIA Project proponent, in their EIS: Patent Lack of Public Participation which Excludes also the Vulnerable Sectors San Miguel Aerocity did not conduct pre-scoping and scoping as required by the revised procedural manual on DENR Administrative Order 2003-30.
Fisher folk and local communities were not consulted about the airport project as shown by the judicial affidavits of Rodel T. Alvarez and Teodoro Bacon, who are fisher folks from Barangay Talitip (Annex A and B) and Gianni Clemente (Annex B).
In fact, based on San Miguel’s Environmental Impact Asesent (EIA) activities and Methodology, no scoping was conducted and there was no scoping agreement with stakeholders in the EIS. This is also a violation of the constitutional right of the people including people’s organizations and non-government organizations to participate in decision-making”.
Atty. Gloria Estenzo, vice president of Oceana also said in the comment that that “public consultation on projects that impact the people’s rights to a healthy environment and which aggravate impacts of climate change is likewise mandatory under RA 7160, the Local Government Code of
1990 with the additional requirement of a Sanggunianresolution”.
The statement also said that “in public scoping, San Miguel Aerocity should have gathered technical inputs from the community
preceding the technical scoping of the EIA Review Team, where stakeholder representatives will also sign without prejudice to submission of additional documents pursuant to our request dated March 11, 2021 to the Environmental Management Bureau of the DENR for extension of the deadline for the submission of Comments to the Project’s EIS; that the 1987 Constitution, Article XIII, declares that “Section 16. The right of the people and their organizations to effective and reasonable participation at all levels of social, political, and economic decision-making shall not be abridged. The State shall, by law, facilitate the establishment of adequate consultation mechanisms. 3 Section 2 ©, and Section 26. Duty of National Government Agencies in the Maintenance of Ecological Balance. – It shall be the duty of every national agency or government-owned or controlled corporation authorizing or involved in the planning and implementation of any project or program that may cause pollution, climatic change, depletion of non-renewable resources, loss of crop land, rangeland, or forest cover, and extinction of animal or plant species, to consult with the local
government units, nongovernmental organizations, and other sectors concerned and explain the goals and objectives of the project or program, its impact upon the people and the community in terms of environmental or ecological balance, and the measures that will be undertaken to prevent or minimize the adverse effects thereof. Section 27.
Prior Consultations Required. – No project or program shall be implemented by government authorities unless the consultations mentioned in Sections 2 (c) and 26 hereof are complied with, and prior approval of the sanggunian
concerned is obtained: Provided, That occupants in areas where such projects are to be implemented shall not be evicted unless appropriate relocation sites have been provided, in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution”.
Oceana has been working closely with national and local government agencies, civil society, fisher folk and other stakeholders to restore the abundance of Philippine fisheries and marine resources.