MANILA — Department of Environment and Natural Resources chief Toni Yulo-Loyzaga responded Monday to calls seeking to cancel existing reclamation projects in the country.
This after various groups stressed during the World Environment Day that such projects hurt the livelihood of fishermen.
Yulo-Loyzaga said that the agency need to respect the recent projects with permits.
"Whatever had been legally permitted previously needs to be respected, this is society of law. We cannot basically say just because we have certain sectors that are unhappy with certain activities, we then declare them illegal and cancel them," Yulo-Loyzaga said in a press conference.
"It is clear from the last administration that certain effects were anticipated because of what had been permitted previously that there was enough political will to declare a moratorium, that moratorium stands," she added.
She noted that they are currently reviewing them in order to adapt it in future policies.
"Today, what we're doing at the DENR is we're reviewing, in fact, what had already been permitted," she said.
"We’re trying to understand how the lessons learned from these activities can actually inform actions and policies moving forward."
Some 24 reclamation projects are currently in place in the country but this might still increase as there are still 147 applications being processed.