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‘More reclamations needed for Manila’

The reclamation projects in Manila Bay, including the Solar City urban center, will not only boost local tourism but will also provide thousands of jobs that will help people provide for their families and “decrease their urge to commit crimes,” a Manila city councilor said Tuesday.

Councilor Laris Borromeo, chairman of the Committee on Tourism, said Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada’s big-ticket projects, such as Solar City, are of strategic importance to the city government in terms of economic development, business growth, and job generation.

“It will serve as a catalyst, that spark we need to improve the city’s tourism industry. It will create more businesses, which would mean the city is doing well, and people are trusting Mayor Estrada for them to invest their businesses here in the city,” Borromeo said.

“Along with it comes jobs, which is what we want for Manileños. Jobs will result in people being able to provide for their families, stand on their own feet, and decrease the urge to commit crime,” she said.

Solar City is a 148-hectare, state-of-the-art tourism, commercial and residential district. It will host business centers, residential and commercial properties, and tourism facilities, including an international cruise ship terminal.

Two other reclamation projects in Manila Bay – the P7.4-billion Manila Harbour Centre expansion of R-II Builders Inc., and the UAA Kinming Group Development Corp.’s 562-hectare mixed-use commercial and business district in the central area of the bay—are also underway.

Borromeo cited the case of Pasay City, which experienced “unparalleled economic and tourism growth” because of Manila Bay reclamation projects such as the SM Mall of Asia.

The SM Group is already planning another P100-billion project in Manila Bay, the reclamation and development of roughly 600 hectares of land in both Pasay and Parañaque cities.

“As a millennial, I want to see my city catch up with progressive cities like Pasay, which saw its economy boom due to reclamation projects. It’s like a 360-degree transformation for them because they focused on tourism. They have a beautiful city now,” the first-termer Borromeo said.

She also recounted her experience working for the provincial government of Camarines Sur, which she said has been rapidly transformed from being a poor province to one of the top tourist destinations in the country.

“They put up an IT (information technology) Park along with the popular water sports complex. Camsur has become a tourism and business hub. This is what we want to do in Manila,” Borromeo pointed out. “And I believe Mayor Erap’s top priorities include tourism, especially now that we have reclamation projects such as Solar City.”

Solar City, Estrada said, is a rich revenue source for Manila, as it is projected to generate up to P17 billion in taxes every year on top of P10 billion in real property taxes.

It is also expected to generate 100,000 jobs during its construction phase and up to 500,000 jobs once it becomes operational, which Estrada believes would help Manila’s unemployment situation.

Among other reclamation projects lined up by the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA), Solar City has gained the support of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Topics: Manila Bay , Reclamation projects , Solar City urban center , Councilor Laris Borromeo , Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada
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