Three reclamation projects in Manila Bay will transform the coastal sections of Manila and Pasay City into modern business districts.
Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada and Pasay City Mayor Antonino Calixto signed a memorandum of agreement for a joint “utmost effort to cooperate with each other and extend mutual assistance” in connection with their separate partnerships with private groups to reclaim huge swathes of the Manila Bay to generate valuable coastal real estate as well as provide employment and other economic opportunities in the two premier coastal cities in Metro Manila”.
The signing of the agreement by the two local chief executives along with the representatives of the three groups with respective reclamation proposals in the Manila Bay area clears the way for the reclamation projects.
The three groups involved are Manila Goldcoast Development Corp., SM Prime Holdings Inc. and the Pasay Harbor City consortium.
MGDC’s 148-hectare reclamation project in joint venture with the Manila city government covers the southern parcel of the Manila-Cavite Coastal Road and Reclamation Project – North Sector, otherwise known as “Solar City’ Project”.
SM Prime’s 300-hectare and 60-hectare projects are in joint venture with Pasay LGU. Pasay Harbor City consortium’s 265-hectare Pasay Harbor City project is also in joint venture with the Pasay city government.
Estrada described MGDC’s Solar City Manila reclamation project as one that will generate an estimated P50 billion in revenues and create 500,000 jobs once the Philippine Reclamation Authority issues a notice to proceed to the project.
He said he expects the project to start early next year, becoming the biggest reclamation project between the Manila-Pasay border in the south and Roxas Boulevard in the east. The project would cover around 3.5 kilometers of Manila Bay’s shoreline.
“Not only will these reclamation projects substantially increase the revenues of our city, it will also generate approximately 500,000 new jobs for our residents,” Estrada said in his speech.
Based on the study made by UP professors, Estrada said that Manila has the highest poverty incidence in the national capital region because many of them are jobless. “So in a sense, these reclamation projects are the answer to our prayers. We will be able to provide decent jobs opportunities to our citizens,” Estrada said.
“With this milestone project, we are getting close to achieving our dream of regaining the city of Manila’s old title, the ‘Pearl of the Orient’. This will mean a lot to us in terms of revenues and employment and business opportunities,” Estrada said.
The project involves the construction of three 140-hectare islands in Manila Bay and is expected to start with the initial construction and dredging work next year.
“As a positive consequence, the RPT [real property tax] share of barangays will increase accordingly. In the first year, expected additional share will amount to P5 million and P15 million per barangay after five more years,” Estrada said.