Sara cancels Mega Harbour reclamation project
DAVAO CITY―Mayor Sara Duterte has canceled the multibillion-peso Mega Harbour coastline reclamation project, fearing it will affect the city’s environment.
In a statement, Duterte said the city government has reviewed the project for over a year, balancing the benefits of the project and its effect on the environment, since it will be set up in the 200-hectare coastline area of the city.
“The decision came after more than a year of careful review and study of the available documents, and after weighing out the intentions of the project against its commercial viability, its legal and social implications, and the projects possible effects to the environment,” the mayor said.
The project proponent, Mega Harbour Port Development Inc., had allocated P39 billion for the construction of the coastline development that was previously approved during the term of the previous mayor―current President Rodrigo Duterte, Sara’s father.
She said her administration’s decision to terminate the joint venture agreement is coupled with a resolve that the city can really move forward and answer the call of economic growth by implementing highly sustainable projects, both commercially and environmentally.
“We understand that there are various legal repercussions ancillary to this decision, and the Davao City Government is ready to answer them in the proper forum,” Duterte said.
The mayor also assured Dabawenyos that the paramount consideration of her decision “was all for the welfare and the future of Davao City.”
Duterte is a known ocean lover, a reason why she had nicknamed her children after sea creatures.
The mayor already had reservations toward the Mega Harbour project—which was an unsolicited offer by the firm headed by Victor Songco—and earlier this year made some changes to the project agreement, particularly the increase in the city’s share of the reclaimed area and of shouldering all the rehabilitation works in the affected areas.
Songco’s firm agreed to the mayor’s amendments. Mega Harbour Port Development Inc. previously said that the 3,500 families residing from Barangay Bucana to Sta. Ana in Agdao district, where the project would be built, will not be displaced.
The project would still have been subject to the approval of the Philippine Reclamation Authority and the National Economic and Development Authority.