Manila jumpstarts huge reclamation projects

Iris Gonzales - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Proponents of the 418-hectare reclamation project in Manila are ready to jumpstart the massive reclamation of the sprawling development, targeting to break ground in the second quarter of next year.

JBros Construction Corp. is the proponent of the 418-hectare Horizon Manila Reclamation Project, a joint venture with the city government of Manila.

In an interview over the weekend, JBros president and CEO Jesusito Legaspi Jr. said the private sector proponents led by JBros have already secured all the necessary permits including the crucial Environmental Compliance Certificate.

The development of the project would start with the reclamation of three islands, focusing on two islands per year, Legaspi said.

JBros is negotiating with world-class global reclamation companies for the project, he said.

After the six-year timetable for the reclamation, the construction of roads, other infrastructure and the development of the mixed-used property are expected to take-off.

The JBros-led consortium is allotting P109 billion for the reclamation and construction of roads, to be funded by internally generated funds and borrowings from foreign financial institutions.

Touted as the biggest and first reclamation project of the City of Manila, the Horizon Manila project is envisioned to be a development that will showcase a “better Manila,”  with lots of parks and open spaces.

It will be a mixed-use community with residential, office and commercial components and an efficient transportation system.

“The government will not spend for any of this and the project will be generating 400,000 jobs,” Legaspi told The STAR.

He said the City of Manila will also have ownership of a portion of the development comprising 34 hectares for its own use.

In the Philippines, there are at least 19 reclamation projects in various stages of permitting, development and implementation, according to the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA).

These include the City of Pearl Reclamation project, a 407-hectare reclamation development, also by the local government of Manila and UAA Kinming Group Development Corp.

The Manila Waterfront City Reclamation project is another project. It is a 318-hectare reclamation venture by the local government of Manila and its private sector partner, Waterfront Manila Premier Development Corp.

Another reclamation venture is the Tieng family’s Manila Goldcoast Development Corp. (MGDC), called the Solar City, which is a 148-hectare project.

Another project is Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy’s Pasay Harbor City reclamation, which covers 265 hectares. It is also a joint venture with the Pasay local government.

Tasked to regulate reclamation is PRA,  formerly the Philippine Estates Authority (PEA). It acts as the primary regulatory agency of the government to assess the technical, environmental, financial and socio-economic merits of such projects.

Proponents of reclamation projects are the local government units (LGUs) and their private sector partners.

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