President Rodrigo Duterte has rejected the proposed Manila Bay reclamation projects, saying these will “choke the entire Manila.”
“Not in my time. If you allow one, you have to allow all. If I allow that, I will choke manila. The entire City of Manila will be put in peril,” the President said in his speech during the inauguration of the Sangley Airport Development Project in Cavite City.
“Manila is an old city. It will decay if you add so many things in front of Manila Bay,” he added.
The proposed 25-project development covers 10,000 hectares from Navotas City to Cavite.
Duterte earlier described the scope of the proposals as “almost mind-boggling and stupefying.”
The President said the proposals were among the reasons why he transferred the power to approve reclamation projects to the Office of the President from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the National Economic Development Authority.
“This is why the reclamation authority—I took it back because I heard every Tom, Dick, and Harry was lobbying and following up. You just wait until the next president who might look at it kindly with a different set of lens,” he said.
“Reclamation will only be approved for government projects,” the President added.
According to the PRA, at least four of the 25 projects—the Navotas City coastal bay reclamation project, the Pasay 360-hectare reclamation project, the Pasay 265-hectare reclamation project, and the Horizon Manila 418-hectare reclamation project—have already been given notices to proceed.