• Manila Bay project seen to save Manila from bankruptcy

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    The 148-hectare reclamation project towards Manila Bay will save the city of Manila from bankruptcy, since it will generate billions of taxes yearly.

    Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada and Vice Mayor Isko Moreno have expressed support for the Manila Solar City project, which is envisioned to become a world-class commercial, residential, and tourism center 600 meters towards Manila Bay.

    It is projected to provide the national government with P17 billion in tax revenues yearly and some P10 billion worth of real estate taxes for the local government.

    “This is one way of answering the fiscal situation of the city,” said Moreno, adding that Estrada inherited the city’s outstanding debt of P3.5 billion.

    “Manila is about to be bankrupt. We have to offer Manilans better things. If not, we will continue to deteriorate,” Moreno said.

    The project has been touted by its developer, Manila Gold Coast Development Corporation, as able to provide 100,000 jobs at the construction phase and another 500,000 when operational.

    “Right now, the study shows that Manila has the most number of jobless people. A hungry stomach knows no law. Through this we can provide employment and (thus) eliminate criminality,” Estrada said.

    The Manila Solar City, like most reclamation projects in the Philippines, is being opposed by some groups who claim it will cause massive flooding in Metro Manila.

    But the Court of Appeals, in another case involving another Manila Bay reclamation project south of the proposed Manila Solar City site, decided otherwise.

    “No credible, competent, and reliable evidence had been presented to support the allegations that the proposed coastal bay project would cause environmental damage of such magnitude as to prejudice the lives, health or properties of the residents of Parañaque and Las Piñas. These apprehensions had been disproved by objective, expert and scientific studies of reputable entities with vast international experience,” the Court’s 3rd division said.

    Jun Palafox, world-renowned architect and urban planner, said reclaiming of a big portion of Manila Bay could reduce Metro Manila’s vulnerability to flooding even during heavy rains and high tides.

    RITCHIE HORARIO

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