Estrada backs Manila Bay project

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Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada has expressed support for a controversial reclamation project on Manila Bay, citing its potential to create jobs for residents and a possible source of additional revenues  for the city.

“It’s moot and academic whether I’m in favor of it because the project has already been approved by the city council before I assumed office,” Estrada told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

The city government under former Mayor Alfredo Lim  entered into a consortium agreement with Manila Goldcoast Development Corp. in April last year to reclaim 148-hectares of Manila Bay and turn this into a commercial hub called “Solar City.”

“What would be my reason to go against it? It will provide jobs and income for the city. I want to attract investors to Manila,” Estrada said.

The project was awarded in 1991 by the Philippine Reclamation Authority to Elco Development and Construction Corp., the parent company of Goldcoast.

But it was deferred when several environmental groups opposed the project and the city council passed an ordinance banning reclamation on Manila Bay.

The council, however, passed another ordinance in 2011 authorizing the mayor to file an application for reclamation.

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