President Duterte Approves The Construction Of Solar City Reclamation Project In Manila Bay
Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada is looking toward the construction of the multi-billion peso Solar City, a state-of-the-art, green urban center jutting out of Manila Bay, as the city’s only hope of regaining its old glory as the country’s capital.
Estrada, also a former President, expects the Solar City reclamation project to start soon following President Rodrigo Duterte’s go-signal to hasten the construction of the proposed tourism, commercial and residential district in Manila Bay.
The city government is almost finished processing the documentary requirements and clearances of Manila Goldcoast Development Corp., which won the joint contract to build the development in 1991.
“This will provide thousands of jobs and economic opportunities for Manileños, aside from the billions of pesos of tax revenues the city government will be able to collect,” said Estrada.
Contrary to fears raised by critics that the project will cover Manila Bay’s famed sunset, Estrada assured that it would not because Solar City “will be built perpendicular and not parallel” to the world-famous bay.
The project entails the creation of three islands totaling 148 hectares in Manila Bay, where a business centers, residential and commercial properties, and tourism facilities, including an international cruise ship terminal, will be built.
MGDC said Solar City would generate up to P17 billion in taxes every year on top of the P10 billion in real property taxes for the city government of Manila.
Moreover, it is also expected to generate 100,000 jobs during the construction phase and up to 500,000 more once it becomes operational, which city officials believe would help Manila’s unemployment situation.
The Solar City project is on top of the planned expansion of the Manila Harbour Centre in Tondo, which also has the support of Malacañang.
“Solar City aims to be the new gold standard for cities in the Philippines. Designed to be green, self-sustaining, and innovative, Solar City will be the first of its kind in using renewable energy from solar, wind, and biomass sources; utilizing urban farming; and capitalizing on a modern waste management system to dramatically reduce organic waste,” MGDC said in a statement.
“With traffic in Manila a burden for most residents, the designers of Solar City envision dedicated walkways and a monorail system to reduce the need for cars and bring tourists and visitors around hotels, convention centers, and an artificial beach that would make Manila good enough to be dubbed the Dubai of Southeast Asia,” MGDC added.
When completed, the Solar City, with its gleaming skyscrapers and world-class amenities, would be crucial to arresting the rapid deterioration and decay of an old city like Manila, the Mayor added.
“This will also be a big boost to our tourism industry, cementing our city’s place in the world map of most favored tourist destinations,” said Estrada, who won the 2013 and 2016 elections on a campaign promise to bring back Manila’s old glory.
“The Manila Goldcoast project is almost near the finish line with issuances of letters of no objection from three different government agencies and area clearances from the DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources), and verbal go-signal from the Office of the President,” said Secretary to the Mayor Edward Serapio.
“The PRA will already issue the notice to proceed so everything is within a very short period provided those requirements are issued,” he added.