Environmentalists trooped to the Chinese Consulate in Makati City on Monday to demand China to stop its reclamation works in the West Philippine Sea which damage the marine ecosystem in the area.
Holding banners written with the call “China Out of Philippine Seas Now,” about 20 members of the Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment staged a protest slamming China’s bullying of Filipino fishermen in the disputed area.
“China’s reclamation and other militaristic activities in the West Philippine Sea is threatening its biodiverse yet fragile marine ecosystem and the fisherfolk who depend on its rich seas. It is short-sighted for the Chinese government to sacrifice the food security, livelihood and ecological health that should be benefitting millions of people not only in Southeast Asia but for their people as well, in exchange for the economic self-interests of a few,” National coordinator of Kalikasan Clemente Bautista said in a statement.
The environmental group said that China’s military activities in the disputed area will ”increase the risk of coral reef destruction, toxic and hazardous waste dumping, and the depletion of fisheries.”
Bautista said that it is high time for all territory claimants, which include the Philippines, “to protect and rehabilitate its critical marine ecosystems in the West Philippine Sea.”
“It seems both Chinese and PH authorities are blind to their inter-generational responsibility to save West PH Sea from further degradation. Citizens across Asia and the Pacific should realize that this ongoing resource conflict is not in their interests, and should demand their authorities to demilitarize the contested waters and uphold a diplomatic solution,” Bautista said.