Following President Duterte’s order to hasten reclamation projects in Manila, Mayor Joseph Estrada has signed a historic agreement with the Philippine Reclamation Authority and a construction consortium for the P7.4-billion expansion of the Manila Harbour Centre in Tondo.
Estrada said the memorandum of understanding officially seals the partnership of the city government, PRA, and R-II Builders, Inc. for the multibillion-peso expansion of the 79-hectare port facility.
This also marks the Duterte administration’s first foray into reclamation as a key component of an infrastructure development framework, Estrada said.
“This MOU is significant because it signals the start of more development projects in our city, with the full support of President Duterte,” he said.
“This means more jobs, economic opportunities, and billions of revenues not only for the Manileños and the City of Manila but also for the entire country,” Estrada added.
Estrada said he is grateful to Duterte for his wholehearted support to various infrastructure projects such as the Harbour Centre development, one of the more than 80 planned reclamation projects in the country.
“Being a former mayor himself, our President knows what the local governments require to promote development. Like here in Manila, we need more land to hasten economic growth, land we do not have, thus, we’re pushing for reclamation,” he said.
Reghis Romero II, chairman of R-II Builders, recounted that in his recent meeting with Duterte, the chief executive had voiced his desire to immediately implement the project.
“The President said the development of Manila is his priority. Once Manila is moving everybody is moving,” Romero said.
The project entails the reclamation of 50 more hectares of Manila Bay to expand the existing 79-hectare Manila North Harbour Centre, the country’s biggest international commercial port for bulk and break-bulk cargoes operated by Harbour Centre Port Terminal, Inc.
With the expansion of the facility further out to sea, Harbour Centre will now be able to handle larger vessels, thus reducing the costs of and speeding the process of cargo handling, Romero added.