Congressman Gary Alejano of the Magdalo Party-List Representative lauds China’s plan to rehabilitate the coral reefs it destroyed. However, he urged the government to also monitor the said coral reef rehabilitation project of China in the South China Sea and ensure that the Philippines’ interest is protected.
“The intention of China to rehabilitate the coral reefs it massively destroyed is laudable, but let us not forget that there is an existing territorial conflict. Dapat makialam ang gobyerno natin sa proyektong ito dahil isa tayo sa claimants ng mga teritoryo sa South China Sea. This rehab project could be just one of the many ways of China’s occupation,” said Alejano.
Last Tuesday, China announced that it will conduct an environmental rehabilitation for the massive destruction of coral ecosystem in the contested territory. From 2013 to 2016, China’s reclamation and construction of artificial islands caused the shredding of corals in the Spratlys.
“The process of rehabilitating the coral reefs must also be accessible to the claimants of the territory other than China. To unilaterally rehabilitate them denies the other parties, such as the Philippines, of the right to cooperate. After all, environmental conservation is not only a unilateral concern, but a multi-party one. The unilateral actions of China show a clear disrespect to the Philippines as claimant of the territory,” the Magdalo representative emphasized.
Alejano, who is also eyeing to get a seat in the Senate this coming Senatorial election has been a strong advocate on protecting our territories especially our claim in the West Philippine Sea.
His persistent call and reminder to the the government to always look into the environmental conservation effort especially now that there is an existing territorial conflict among claimants. He referred to the existing reports on environmental destruction and legal opinion on the implications of unilateral rehabilitation to the South China Sea dispute, considering that China has been occupying islands in the region quietly but aggressively.
“Tahimik ang gobyerno sa mga usapin ng panghihimasok ng China. This issue should be given attention by our government because China’s rehabilitation project is not merely an environmental issue. Our conflict with China necessitates us to be vigilant on this issue. Ang unilateral actions ng China ay maaaring gawing dahilan para ariin ng China ang mga bahagi ng West Philippine Sea na kanilang ni-rehabilitate,” Alejano concluded.