‘Manila Bay reclamation projects to generate income for gov’t, generate jobs’
MANILA, Philippines – Possible reclamation projects in Manila Bay would generate income for the government and would benefit the public, Malacañang said Thursday.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo issued the statement after the Makabayan bloc lawmakers pushed for the suspension of the Manila Bay rehabilitation program, saying the “rehabilitation program could be a prelude to 43 reclamation projects covering more than 32,000 hectares in the bay.”
“When you clean up Manila Bay, certainly all of us will benefit. With respect to reclamation, even government will benefit from that because we get, if I understand correctly, it’s 65-35. We get 65 [percent] there, that’s huge,” Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
“That will generate income to government because of the sharing, and that will generate jobs because they will be establishing structures there,” he added.
Duterte has ordered the rehabilitation of heavily polluted Manila Bay and ordered business owners in the area to install waste water treatment systems or face closure.
READ: Duterte orders Manila Bay cleanup, crackdown on errant hotels
The President, Panelo said, was pleased with the result of the initial cleanup of the bay.
“He will be pleased to know that it has started because he has been saying that that should start immediately. That was his directive to Secretary Roy [Cimatu],” he said.
“When you see your objective being done of course you’ll be pleased,” he added.
He said everybody should be given credit for the cleanup of the bay.
“Nobody can claim credit for anything that is an achievement of this administration,” he said.
Asked about the government’s plan for the displaced illegal settlers near the bay, he replied: “Then we will have to find a place for resettlement.”
“The government will always look at the welfare of everybody affected there,” he said, adding that those against the rehabilitation should “toe the line.” /gsg
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