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PRA blocking green projects – Villar  

Paolo Romero - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) has been acting contrary to public interest and welfare in consistently blocking projects that tend to protect the environment and promote tourism in Metro Manila, Sen. Cynthia Villar said yesterday.

Villar, who chairs the Senate committee on environment and natural resources, raised the issue during the plenary deliberations on the proposed P5.268-trillion General Appropriations Bill (GAB) where she expressed surprise and disappointment over certain acts of the PRA, a government-owned and controlled corporation (GOCC).

“Why is the PRA not serving our country for public good?” she asked.

The senator recounted that at the height of the pandemic, the Las Piñas city government purchased a 1,500-square meter land from the PRA to put up a general service hospital.

The city government paid P78 million for the purchase through the Department of Health (DOH) and the money was deposited with the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

Even with the payment already lodged with the DBM, the PRA refused to allow the construction of the hospital unless it actually has the cash transferred to its coffers, she said.

Sen. Sonny Angara, chairman of the finance committee and sponsor of the GAB with the assistance of DBM officials, said the agency was already set to release the payment to the PRA.

Villar cited another incident when the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) was to build a district office in a lot also purchased by the agency to speed up infrastructure projects in the area.

The PRA also blocked the construction of the district office, saying that the DPWH first pay P4 billion it supposedly owed to the GOCC for a totally different project, the senator said.

Villar noted that certain portions of the Manila-Cavite Expressway arenow in need of repair since the PRA took over the expressway’s maintenance.

PRA

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