LIANGA, Surigao del Sur, Philippines — Community leaders and environmentalists have demanded that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) halt their ongoing coastal road project due to its impact on the town’s marine ecosystem.
The restive proponents are supported by the Roman Catholic clergy of the region with the aim of preserving the place from environmental imbalance and destruction of seafood sources for the residents.
Diosdado Labaso, leader of Samahan ng Mangingisda sa Lianga, said the 2.79 kilometer road would destroy some 30 hectares of mangrove forest and seagrass area that serves as a sanctuary for various marine life that are also food sources for locals.
Due to the ongoing project, the large varieties of shellfish found at the seashore near the town’s Sabang River have depleted.
Fisherfolk who want to go fishing at the sea are also unable to do so because piles of limestone have been dumped into the shoreline to build the road.
Labaso said that the project is good, as long as “it does not affect our livelihood and marine life.”
About 1,600 Catholic Church parishioners in Lianga town petitioned the DENR in December 2020 regarding the project being implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to stop.
However, the DENR has yet to act on the petition, said Lianga Councilor Samuel Dollano.
The Lianga councilor further noted that the DPWH did not comply with the requisites for the issuance of an environmental clearance certificate with the municipal council.