The unsolicited proposed 174-hectare reclamation project in Dumaguete City worth P23 billion. (PIO)

More groups are opposing the proposed 174-hectare reclamation project off the shores of the City of Gentle People – Dumaguete.

The United Architects of the Philippines – Dumaguete Chapter joined numerous local and international groups in opposing the controversial Dumaguete Smart City for what they described as a “deficient project.”

In a statement Tuesday, the group highlighted five grounds for their opposition to the project: the lack of consultation, the project’s impact on the environment and livelihood of the fisherfolk, and tourism.

The group also highlighted the damage it would allegedly bring to the “character and image” of Dumaguete City, the lack of information on the huge undertaking, and the risk it poses, especially during calamities.

The architects call on the city government to be more “transparent” since they are “certain” that the proposed project would “destroy a significant portion of Dumaguete’s natural environment” and change the “image of a peaceful and tranquil city (of Dumaguete).”  

The Dumaguete Architect Union recommends involving the private sector in future developments as a “partner” and opening a dialogue with private landowners to align their developments with the local government.

“We are hopeful that the City Government of Dumaguete will abandon this project and choose a way forward that will truly benefit the people of Dumaguete today and for the next generations to come.” 

Among those who have already opposed the proposed P23 billion reclamation project is the Diocese of Dumaguete, Silliman University, Greenpeace Philippines, and the Environmental solution provider World Wide Fund For Nature-Philippines. Ryan Sorote