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How not to manage a rainforest BLURBAL THRUSTS Louie Logarta 06/06/2010

Sunday, June 6, 2010

How not to manage a rainforest



BLURBAL THRUSTS
Louie Logarta
06/06/2010
There goes the neighborhood. The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) has just carved up the precious rainforest under its jurisdiction to make way for a sprawling “world-class tourism facility” estimated to cost around $1 billion despite furious protests from various environment conservation groups who are claiming that the project would greatly injure the fragile ecosystem existing therein, and most importantly deprive succeeding generations of Filipinos their heritage.

The resort complex project to be located in the Bataan peninsula — which was recently given the green light by the SBMA in favor of the real estate developer M Castle of Korea group, thus making it (aside from Hanjin Philippines shipbuilders which is said to be the world’s fourth-largest facility of its kind employing some 17,000 workers) the second-biggest investor in the Freeport — envisions a five-star hotel with 2,400 rooms that would put all others in Metro Manila to shame, several beach and forest condominium units that would be disposed of at dollar-denominated rates, a huge shopping mall, a water theme park, a medical center for medical tourism purposes, an English language learning school for Koreans naturally, a marina facility that would dwarf the Manila and Subic yacht clubs and a 36-hole golf course estimated to consume DAILY around 4.5 million liters of water just to maintain.

At what cost? Well, if nature conservationists are to be believed, we would have to sacrifice all of the flora and fauna with the 615-hectare beachfront property situated between the Freeport proper and Morong town that had been chosen by the Koreans, as well as the marine life in the small bay that would serve as the catchment basin for all the waste water coming from the planned resort complex.

SBMA administrator Armand Arreza (who is now being bombarded with criticisms from the supporters of the group of President-apparent Noynoy Aquino that this M Castle contract is simply another midnight deal that President Arroyo can’t seem to get enough of) defended the tourism resort project as vital to the continued viability of the Subic Freeport.... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100606com5.html


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