Press Releases

Statement on DENR decision to allow resumption of Pasay City reclamation projects

November 29th, 2023

Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda

I enthusiastically welcome the government’s decision to give clearance to the resumption of the Pasay City-led reclamation projects known as Pasay 265, with Pasay Harbor Corporation and Pasay 360, with SM Smart City Infrastructure and Development Corporation. We are thankful that President Marcos saw the work of the Committee on Ways and Means in emphasizing the revenue and economic implications of keeping the projects suspended. We are also thankful that Secretary Loyzaga went through the process in regular order.

As we emphasized during the hearings, Pasay City is in fact a very strong case for responsible reclamation. Historical flooding maps show that the existing Pasay reclamation projects have in fact provided flood protection. This is as opposed to areas without a reclamation project fronting their shore, which have experienced more flooding than areas with a reclamation project.

Both projects combined, based on our estimates, could yield as much as P563 billion in real estate assets for the government.

We also emphasize that by law, 50% of Philippine Reclamation Authority income, under RA 7279, is to be earmarked for housing. Revenues from these projects could fund President Marcos’s ambitious housing program.

Moving forward, we also hope that other reclamation projects with complete compliance and high level of construction progress can be pushed through. One such project is the 318-hectare Manila Waterfront City Development Project, which has been also been suspended, but which appears to be fully compliant with DENR requirements.

On security concerns

During the Committee hearings, we clarified that, contrary to some published reports, the City of Manila does not have objections and in fact actively supports its resumption. The US Embassy’s expressed reservations were also clarified, and they were not actually objections. I also emphasized that, if there are national security concerns, they should properly be channeled in the Interagency Investment Promotion Coordination Committee established under the Foreign Investment Act amendments, so that they could be heard and formally resolved.

The Department of National Defense could also weigh in if there is, indeed, a national security question involved. But as far as the US concerns go, these are the concerns of a foreign country, not the Philippines.

The President’s recent action reflects that this government’s stance on reclamation will be rules-based, data-driven, and evidence-based. That signal is good for investor sentiment and the overall business environment.

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