A House leader has opposed the planned 148-hectare, three-island Manila Bay reclamation project which would establish Manila Solar City, it was learned on Friday.
Neophyte Rep. Douglas Hagedorn of Palawan province, Vice Chairman of the House Committee on Ecology, noted that the proposed Manila Solar City reclamation project of Manila Gold Coast Development Corporation (MGCDC)—which would establish a park, a man-made beach and a terminal for international cruise ships all rolled into one—cannot proceed without an enabling law.
Hagedorn, the brother of former mayor Edward Hagedorn of Puerto Princesa City, cited that Manila’s local ordinance cannot supersede a Presidential Proclamation, much more overrule Republic Act 7586, or the National Integrated Protected Areas System Act of 1992, Republic Act 10066 or the National Cultural Heritage Act and Republic Act or the Strengthening People’s Nationalism Through Philippine History Act.
“Without a new law explicitly exempting and allowing the Manila Solar City reclamation project, allowing executives to overturn and subvert national laws by ordinance would set a dangerous precedent and invite legal anarchy,” Hagedorn said during the recent Organizational hearing of the House Committee on Ecology.
Further, Hagedorn invoked Resolution No. 19, s. 2012, of the National Historical Commission which declares the Manila Bay and water front, from Del Pan to the Cultural Center of the Philippines, as a national historical landmark protected by laws.
Manila Solar City is belongs to the 112 reclamation projects approved by the Philippine Reclamation Authority under the Public-Private Partnership-inspired National Reclamation Plan (NRP) of the national government.
It covers a total of 38,000 hectares of coastal areas all over the country, of which 26,234 hectares are situated along Manila Bay, from Cavite to the Bataan coast.
Former president and now Mayor Joseph Estrada of Manila and Vice Mayor Francisco Domagoso, known as Isko Moreno, are in favor of the Manila Bay Reclamation project, arguing that the project will enable the Philippine government to raise P17 billion in tax revenues in a year. Manila, on the other hand, stands to collect P10 billion worth of real estate taxes.
Those opposed to the project, however, claim that the initiative will block the famous spectacular sunset view by the Manila Bay, may cause more flooding, risks liquefaction during earthquakes, among others. LLANESCA T. PANTI