MANILA — Despite potential opposition from environmentalists, the Philippine Reclamation Authority is set to implement more than 80 reclamation projects—including the Solar City commercial and business district in Manila Bay — in the succeeding years with President Rodrigo Duterte expressing his “all-out” support.
In a statement sent by the Manila City Hall to reporters on Wednesday, PRA Chairman Alberto Agra said Duterte had “ordered the speedy completion of the multi-billion peso infrastructure projects to help usher in economic progress under his administration.”
“So, clearly, this is a priority of the President to bring progress, to create more communities, ease traffic, and reduce poverty,” he said.
He said the “more than 80 reclamation projects” in the pipeline in the next six years were in “various stages.”
These include the Solar City project in Manila Bay; the 635.14-hectare Las Piñas-Parañaque Coastal Bay project; Mactan North Reclamation and Development project in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu; Aklan Beach Zone Restoration and Protection Marina Development Project in Malay, Aklan; and the 108-hectare reclamation venture of the Bacolod Real Estate Development Corp. in Bacolod City.
“There will be more, mostly in Visayas and Mindanao,” Agra said, noting that Duterte’s last act even as mayor of Davao was to sign a joint venture agreement last June for the P39-billion port and coastal development project in the city.
For his part, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada said he was “happy” that the president himself endorsed Solar City, to be constructed by the Manila Goldcoast Development Corp., which won the joint contract with the city in 1991.
The city hall said the reclamation project in particular would entail the creation of three islands totalling 148 hectares in Manila Bay, where “business centers, residential and commercial properties, and tourism facilities, including an international cruise ship terminal, will be put up.”
The plan is to power the “city” with renewable energy from solar, wind, and biomass sources, among others.
“This will definitely bring more economic development to our city,” Estrada said.
He said the project would specifically generate “up to P17 billion in taxes every year on top of the P10 billion in real property taxes.”
It is also “expected to generate 100,000 jobs during the construction phase and up to 500,000 more once it becomes operational.”
“When I assumed office in 2013, Manila had the most number of jobless people. With the Solar City project, we can provide jobs to thousands of Manileños,” Estrada said.
He said so far, the city government has “almost finished processing the applications for permits and clearances” of MGDC for the project.
The city hall added that the project would not cover Manila Bay’s famed sunset, as it will be built perpendicular and not parallel to the body of water. SFM
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