• Pasay mayor told to bare reclamation project plan

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    PASAY CITY: Mayor Antonio Calixto, Vice Mayor Marlon Pesebre and the city council were pressed on Monday to make public the plans for the reclamation and development of 300 hectares in the Pasay side of Manila Bay.

    The call was made by Pasay business and community leaders who came out in support for the reclamation in view of the approval of the project by the City Council on August 12 through Resolutions 3019 and 3020 on condition that the project complies with all laws, rules and regulations.

    Lawyer Dennis Bernard Acorda, city administrator, disclosed last week that the project was awarded to SM Land Commercial Properties (SM Land Inc.).

    Records in city hall showed that on August 12, the city council adopted Resolution 3019, which authorized Calixto to undertake the reclamation project and negotiate a 60-40 percentage sharing with the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) and sign an agreement on the project.

    On the same day, the council also adopted Resolution 3020, which authorized Calixto to accept the joint venture project proposal of SM Land and to sign a joint venture agreement with SM Land, provided all laws, rules and regulations are complied with.

    The two resolutions were signed and attested to by Pesebre, and signed by Councilors Allan Panaligan, Mary Grace Santos, Jennifer Roxas, Richard Advincula, Alberto Alvina, Eduardo Advincula, Lexter Ibay, Ma. Antonia Cuneta, Aileen Padua Lopez, Ian Vendivel, Arnel Regino Arceo, Arvin Tolentino, Reynaldo Padua and Richard Roxas.

    SM Land presented to the Pasay City government only on March 7 its letter of intent for the reclamation and development project for 136 hectares. On July 25, SM Land amended its intend by expanding its proposed reclamation to 300 hectares.

    The business and city leaders hailed the councilors for the conditions imposed in their two resolutions, adding that in compliance with the resolutions that laws, regulations and rules be complied with, the joint venture agreement should be thoroughly evaluated and should be subject to Swiss challenge by other developers which may have solid and attractive development plans for the land that will be reclaimed that could earn more revenues for the city government.

    According to city records, the Pasay City government awarded the joint venture agreement to SM Land on August 12 in less day 30 days after it submitted its amended letter intent on July 25 to City Hall.

    Records also showed that it was only on August 12 that the city council authorized the mayor to negotiate with SM Land for the terms of the agreement.

    Also on August 12, the mayor was authorized to undertake the project, negotiate for a 60-40 sharing with PRA and sign the agreement, according to records.

    Business and community leaders supporting the reclamation project said Calixto and Pasay officials should present the technical plan and master plan for the 300-hectare project.

    They said the city government should give assurances from SM Land that it would comply with all environmental regulations on landfills, sewerage, water supply and treatment, among others, and that the project will not cause massive floods in the city as experienced by Manila, Pasay and other cities during the recent strong typhoons.

    The leaders said they also want to know how much money has been allotted by SM Land for the project which, according to initial estimates, would cost P54 billion, to ensure that once started the reclamation and development will be completed.

    According to SM Land’s initial letter of intent, the proposed reclamation will start from the sea wall of the existing SM Mall of Asia and extending to about 1,135 meters seaward.

    SM Land also intends to expand an approved 60-hectare reclamation fronting Sofitel Hotel and the Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex to 116 hectares.

    According to an announcement of SM Land, 153 hectares of the 300 hectares to be reclaimed will go to the Pasay City government. SM Land also said that the project will cost P50 billion.

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