Duterte thumbs down Manila Bay reclamation projects
MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte is not inclined to approve “massive” reclamation projects in Manila Bay as he stressed the need to protect the environment and the public.
Almost 10,000 hectares of Manila Bay from Navotas City to Cavite are supposed to undergo reclamation under 25 projects, some of which already received notice to proceed soon.
But in an interview with ABS-CBN’s Ted Failon, Duterte said reclaiming 10,000 hectares of the famed body of water is “mind-boggling”.
“You have to make an audit now of whether or not the environment of the entire seas area there can absorb the waste and where would it go after being treated,” Duterte said.
“That big, it’s stupefying. Mukhang (It looks like) I am not ready for that. I am not ready even to say that I will grant it. Not in my time. As long as there is no guarantee that the environment will be protected and the health of the people (should) also (be) safeguarded,” the President added
Duterte last year ordered the transfer of power to approve reclamation projects from the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) to the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA), which he then placed under the Office of the President (OP).
He also mandated the PRA to seek “advisory opinions” from other agencies such as NEDA, the Environment Department, and the Finance Department with regard to reclamation project proposals.
Duterte issued the order amid reports some reclamation projects were approved in Manila Bay, which was then undergoing a massive cleanup drive.
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