The Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) will implement at least 80 reclamation projects in the country in the next six years, including the ambitious Solar City commercial and business district to be put up in Manila Bay. With traffic in Manila a burdensome problem for most residents, the designers of Solar City envision dedicated walkways and a monorail system to reduce the need for cars and bring tourists and visitors around hotels, convention centers, and even an artificial beach to make Manila good enough to be dubbed the “Dubai of Southeast Asia”.
This as Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada said the city government is almost finished processing the applications for permits and clearances of the Manila Goldcoast Development Corp. (MGDC), which won the joint contract with the city back in 1991.
“We’re happy that President [Rodrigo] Duterte has endorsed the Solar City project. This will definitely bring more economic development to our city,” Estrada said, recounting his previous meeting with the president in Malacañang when the latter expressed his support for the project.
The Solar City reclamation project entails the creation of three islands totaling 148 hectares in the Manila Bay (at the back of the Philippine Navy and Manila Yacht Club), where business centers, residential and commercial properties, and tourism facilities, including an international cruise ship terminal, will be put up.
Solar City, Estrada pointed out, is a rich revenue source for the city government as it is projected to generate up to PHP17 billion in taxes every year on top of the PHP10 billion in real property taxes. It is also expected to generate 100,000 jobs during the construction phase and up to 500,000 more once it becomes operational, which Estrada believes would help Manila’s unemployment situation.
PRA chairman Alberto Agra said President Duterte has ordered the speedy completion of the multi-billion-peso infrastructure projects to help usher in economic progress under his administration.
“We have more than 80 reclamation projects in the pipeline, in various stages. There will be more, mostly in Visayas and Mindanao,” Agra said. “So, clearly, this is a priority of the President to bring progress, to create more communities, ease traffic, and reduce poverty.”
As proof of his support for reclamation ventures, Agra said President Duterte’s last act as mayor of Davao City was to sign a joint venture agreement last June for the PHP39 billion port and coastal development project in the city.
Other reclamation works in the pipeline include the 635.14-hectare Las Piñas-Parañaque Coastal Bay project; Mactan North Reclamation and Development project in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu; Aklan Beach Zone Restoration and Protection Marina Development Project in Malay, Aklan; and the 108-hectare reclamation venture of the Bacolod Real Estate Development Corp. in Bacolod City.
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