Cebu

Cebu town mayor says ‘no turning back’ on controversial reclamation project

John Sitchon
Cebu town mayor says ‘no turning back’ on controversial reclamation project

SEAFRONT CITY. A rendering of Consolacion town's 'Seafront City' project.

Tobes Environmental Consulting

'We cannot sacrifice the welfare of future generations for the sake of the preservation of the interest of the few,' says Consolacion Mayor Joannes Alegado, amid protests of shipyard workers and fishermen against the project

Despite multiple protests from shipyard workers, Consolacion Mayor Joannes “Joyjoy” Alegado said on Tuesday, October 25, that the Seafront City reclamation project will proceed.

“We cannot sacrifice the welfare of future generations for the sake of the preservation of the interest of the few,” Alegado said in his live-streamed State of the Town Address (SOTA).

The mayor said Consolacion, being the gateway from the northern part of the province to the tri-cities, has a big role to play in the economic progress of Metro Cebu.

“With the implementation of the new Cebu International Container Port (CICP) in Tayud, Consolacion, there is a need for a reclaimed area in Consolacion to complement and supplement the needs of such an international container port. Hence, the Seafront City project came into fruition,” said Alegado.

He explained that the project was premised on the fact that the municipality’s topography is 70% mountainous and that it must expand its foreshore and offshore area to keep up with the rapid development of neighboring areas like Mandaue City, Cebu City, and Lapu-Lapu City.

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What is Seafront City?

Seafront City is a 235.80-hectare reclamation project that is set to be built along the shores of Barangay Tayud in Consolacion town. 

The P20-billion “smart city estate” will be three times bigger than SM Mall of Asia and four times bigger than Luneta Park. The project developer is La Consolacion Seafront Development Corporation (LCSDC).

Alegado had earlier told media that the project would create at least 57,000 jobs and add P600 million annually to the municipal government’s revenues. 

The project is currently in the application phase.

What project opponents say

Local shipyard workers and fisherfolk held multiple protests against the project in September, as they feared that itwould cause economic and ecological damage.

In a statement sent to Rappler, opponents of the project claimed that over 6,000 would lose their jobs as shipyard workers if the project is carried out They added that more than a hundred fishermen may lose their livelihood.

Alegado acknowledged this, as reported by CDN Digital, but said that those affected by the project would be given enough time to “transition” or find other jobs.

Still, project opponents believe that this progress would come at the cost of the environment, including 71 species of corals.

“Without corals, marine animals will lose their homes, and coastline communities will be more vulnerable to floods. Consolacion is already prone to flooding, thus losing corals will just worsen the issue,” they said. – Rappler.com