• Project seen to solve Manila’s bankruptcy woe

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    THE 148-hectare reclamation project extending toward Manila Bay will save the city of Manila from bankruptcy as it will generate billions of taxes yearly.

    Thus declared Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada of Manila and Vice Mayor Isko Moreno as they 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.

    The project 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 was left with a city that has an outstanding debt of P3.5 billion.

    He said that it is crucial in reversing the deterioration of the country’s capital city through job creation and revenue generation.

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

    The project has been touted by its developer, Manila Gold Coast Development Corp., 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 project, like most other reclamation projects in the Philippines, has been opposed by some sectors since it will allegedly cause massive flooding in Metro Manila.

    However, 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.

    Espousing a similar belief, Jun Palafox, world-renowned architect and urban planner, had also opined that “the reclaiming of a big portion of Manila Bay could reduce Metro Manila’s vulnerability to flooding even during heavy rains and high tides.

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