Saturday, May 25, 2024

The Race to Build on Seas

by Nikole Elli | February 12, 2022

Tall infrastructures creep the sky in the race to fill the view with skyscrapers. But in recent years, the race to the skies is not the only priority. In fact, the winner of the race nowadays is the one who can build on seas. There is a recent buzz about land reclamation again as the presidentiables face the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas’ (KBP) “Panata sa Bayan” forum. The polarizing views of candidates are proof that the topic is very much debatable. But why is this race to build on seas, truthfully, bad to the environment and the people?

According to the Internal Association of Dredging Companies (IADC), land reclamation is “the process of creating new land by raising the elevation of a waterbed or low-lying land or by pumping water out of muddy morass areas”. Usually, on this new land, livelihood hubs or residential properties shall be built in hopes to augment the crippling economy of a city and a country as a whole. However, on the other side, these reclamation projects are badly affecting the people at the hemlines.

This problem is close to the locals of Dumaguete since a few months back, there was a proposal to build a reclamation project off the coast of Dumaguete. It is no surprise how local fisherfolks were quick to remark on the said project. In a recent interview with, Lee Amil, Dumaguete Fisherfolk Association head mentioned in passing that their livelihood was threatened because of the proposed land reclamation project.

On top of the fact that these projects are often shrouded in promises, the truth continues to exist. Since our country is frequently visited by typhoons, and lately, supertyphoons, the risk of experiencing storm surges in these areas is high. Reports from the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) show that construction in coastal areas that are targeted for reclamation have experienced storm surges up to four meters high.

It’s always easy to shrug off the risks of racing to the sea to build new cities, especially when they are still non-existent. But with this mindset, the future is bleak for the community whose life and livelihood depend on the sea.


Brier, K. (2022, February 8). Leni-Kiko campaign formed by various sectors in Negros Oriental.

Land Reclamation – Land reclamation is the process of creating new land by raising the elevation of a waterbed or low-lying land or by pumping water out of muddy morass areas. (n.d.). IADC Dredging.

Mayuga, J. L. (2021, August 9). 5 land-reclamation projects in Manila Bay in the pipeline | Jonathan L. Mayuga. BusinessMirror.

Rodolfo, K. (2021, June 29). [ANALYSIS] “Concrete cancer”: A warning about reclamations in Manila Bay. RAPPLER.


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