The Philippine Reclamation Authority said Wednesday it is reevaluating the reclamation project of Waterfront Manila Premier Development Inc. after Asian Seas Resources and Construction Development Corp., a property developer controlled by the F.F. Cruz Construction Group, questioned the valuation of the project.
“We are checking now on the valuation based on Waterfront’s submission of value engineering on the detailed engineering design to answer ASSERCO’s allegations,” said PRA assistant general manager for reclamation and regulation Joseph John Literal.
ASSERCO legal counsel Jose Bernas alleged that the reclamation project cost of WMPD should be at least three times more, or about P100 billion, compared to the latter’s P34.3-billon reclamation and horizontal development of 318 hectares on Manila Bay.
Literal, however, said the P34.3-billion project cost of WMPD was “preliminary, and full determination and adjustments of fees will be done during implementation and final completion of the project.”
“Cost will be computed upon final assessment after completion of the project, taking into consideration cost overruns, e.g. fuel costs and others affected by peso depreciation, etc.,” he said.
Literal said the 80-percent balance of regulatory fee would be assessed and collected quarterly until the completion of the project.
WMPDI counsel Ma. Julieta Santos earlier said her company paid PRA the regulatory fees and social environment fund in the amount of P800 million as part of the condition to mobilize the project.
Santos also said the reclamation project complied with the requirements of PRA and the City of Manila.
“Manila also issued its NTP knowing that the project is beneficial to the city and the Filipino people at no cost to the government. Government has a 51-percent share in the project once there is reclaimed land,” Santos said.
ASSERCO filed a civil case against PRA, City of Manila and Waterfront, saying the awarded project to Waterfront overlapped the former’s project award issued by PRA in 1991.
ASSERCO filed a motion for reconsideration with the Makati regional trial court on Aug. 22 to reverse its Aug. 4 ruling allowing the joint venture deal of WMPDC with PRA and the City of Manila to proceed with the reclamation project.