• ‘Reclamation project will boost Manila businesses’

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    MANILA Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada has assured local business owners that the soon-to-built Solar City commercial and business district in Manila Bay will not affect business establishments in the area, particularly in Malate and Ermita.

    In a statement, Estrada said the 148-hectare Solar City commercial, business and residential center would boost the restaurant and entertainment industry in the city’s tourist belt by bringing in more tourists.

    “Solar City is intended to be built as a tourist- and entertainment-oriented operation, so we expect more tourists to come once the project has been completed. In turn this will benefit businesses in the nearby areas, such as Malate and Ermita,” Estrada said.

    Solar City is described as a “state-of-the-art, tourism, commercial and residential district” in Manila Bay, composed of three reclaimed islands that will host business centers, residential and commercial properties, and tourism facilities such as an international cruise ship terminal.

    The project proponent, Manila Goldcoast Development Corp., has partnered with the city government of Manila to reclaim and develop the reclamation project under a 1991 contract.

    Manila Goldcoast Vice Chairman Edmundo Lim echoed Estrada, saying Solar City would not compete with local businesses, particularly the Ermita-Malate Business Owners Association, Inc.

    “Where do tourists go upon arriving in Manila? It’s usually in Ermita and Malate, and also in Intramuros, and in shopping districts. Businesses in these areas mainly depend on tourists, so our role is to bring in more tourists for them,” Lim said in the same statement.

    Solar City is projected to generate up to P17 billion in tax revenues every year on top of the P10 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.

    Once the Philippine Reclamation Authority issues a notice to proceed, reclamation will immediately commence and is expected to be completed in 18 months, followed by the construction of the cruise ship terminal and other structures, Manila Goldcoast said.

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