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Coastal and land grabbing for tourism in Hacienda Looc, Nasugbu, Batangas, Philippines

Risking their lives, communities and human rights advocacy groups movilize against the coastal and land privatization for golf and eco-tourism projects that forces the eviction of local communities.


From the mid-1990s, local communities together with a range of human rights advocacy groups started to movilize against the coastal and land privatization for golf and eco-tourism projects. This tourist Project forced the eviction of local comunities and the loss of ancestral land and livelihood.  Hacienda Looc is a 8,650 hectare land located in Nasugbu, province of Batangas. It has a population of around 10,000 farmers and fisherfolks.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Coastal and land grabbing for tourism in Hacienda Looc, Nasugbu, Batangas, Philippines
State or province:Batangas
Location of conflict:Nasugbu
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Tourism Recreation
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Water access rights and entitlements
Land acquisition conflicts
Tourism facilities (ski resorts, hotels, marinas)
Specific commodities:Water
Ecosystem Services
Fruits and Vegetables
Tourism services
Project Details and Actors
Project details

8,650-hectare Hacienda Looc converted into resorts, golf courses.

Project area:8,650
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:10,000 farmers and fisherfolk that depend on the hacienda’s rich natural resources for livelihood
Start of the conflict:01/01/1990
Company names or state enterprises:Manila South Coast Development Corporation ((MSDC))
Fil Estate Properties (FEMI) - Developers of the Golf Park Project Harbortown
Relevant government actors:- Rodrigo Duterte (responsable of the 2021, March 7th "Bloody Sunday" when at least nine activists were killed following simultaneous police raids in the northern Philippines that came just two days after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered government forces to “kill” and “finish off” all communist rebels in the country)
- Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, the area was declared a Tourism Enterprise Zone by her executive order
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:- fishers’ group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas- PAMALAKAYA
- Ugnayan ng Mamamayan Laban sa Pagwawasak ng Kalikasan at Kalupaan (UMALPAS KA), a local environmental organization in Nasugbu, Batangas.
- Defend Hacienda Looc Alliance
- Asian Peasant Coalition (APC)
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Landless peasants
Social movements
Religious groups
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
There is not much information about their forms of mobilization. The conflict is invisibilized.
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Desertification/Drought, Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Potential: Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems
Health ImpactsVisible: Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..), Health problems related to alcoholism, prostitution
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Increase in violence and crime, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Corruption
Criminalization of activists
Deaths, Assassinations, Murders
Court decision (undecided)
Violent targeting of activists
"Red-tagging", as t is called in The Philippines
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The land reform was not applied. There was violence against the fisherfolk
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[1] Report of the International solidarity mission: Save Hacienda Looc and Peasants livelihood
[click to view]

Documentary about one of Asia's largest golf resorts in Hacienda Looc. By the filmmakers Jen Schradie and Matt DeVries
[click to view]

[2]Atkins, S. (2016). Land Grabbing, Tourism and Conservation in the Philippines. Lambert Academic Publishing, Saarbrücken, Germany.

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

Almost two-decade struggle for land of Hacienda Looc farmers gains support
[click to view]

Peasant leader, family arrested in Hacienda Looc; PH’s haciendero President mocks UN’s 2014 International Year of Family Farming – KMP
[click to view]

[3]Bulat. Bloody Sunday | 5 activists dead, mass arrests in Southern Tagalog.
[click to view]

[4] Fisherfolk couple murdered over long-running battle against coastal and land-use conversion — PAMALAKAYA

[click to view]

[5] Philippines: The Tactics Behind Red-Tagging
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Teresa Sanz, ICTA-UAB. Contact: [email protected]
Last update05/04/2021
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