Waterfront Manila reclamation project gets green light from PRA

Rainier Allan Ronda - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) has granted the request of Waterfront Manila Premier Development Inc. to defer payment of regulatory fee and start its reclamation project worth P34.3 billion in Manila Bay amid pending litigation before the Makati Regional Trial Court.

Joseph John Literal, PRA assistant general manager for reclamation and regulation, approved the appeal of Waterfront Manila to defer the payment of regulatory fee and social environment fund until Oct. 18, which is supposed to be a requirement to undertake the 318-hectare reclamation project.

In a letter dated Aug. 18 to Waterfront Manila president Kenneth Gatchalian, Literal said the PRA board approved the additional 60 days extension to settle the second tranche payment.

The PRA board is still composed of holdover officials appointed by former president Rodrigo Duterte as President Marcos has yet to appoint new officials of the agency.

Literal said the PRA also approved Manila Waterfront’s permit to commence mobilization and actual reclamation works upon payment of the required initial regulatory fee.

“Pursuant to Section 8 or PRA Administrative Order No. 2021-02, the effectivity of the notice to proceed and notice to commence actual reclamation works will start upon receipt of the full payment of the social environment fund and upon PRA confirmation of such receipt,” Liberal said.

The PRA approved Waterfront Manila’s request after the Makati Regional Trial Court issued a decision on Aug. 4, setting aside an earlier ruling, which voided the deal signed by the company with the Manila city government and the PRA.

In its April 25 ruling, the Makati court declared null and void the contract to reclaim 318 hectares in Manila Bay for allegedly not undergoing a competitive bidding process and evaluation by the National Economic Development Authority, and for encroaching in areas covered by another reclamation project of property developer Asian Seas Resources and Construction Development Corp. or ASSERCO, which is controlled by the F.F. Cruz group.

ASSERCO has asked the Makati court to reverse its ruling allowing the joint venture deal of Waterfront Manila with the PRA and the city of Manila.



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