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Residents protest Manila Bay reclamation project

By Analou de Vera

A reclamation project at the Manila Bay famous for its sunset view has earned the ire of residents and a pro-environment group due to its negative effects on Manila and the National Capital Region.

In a rally at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-National Capital Region in Malate, Manila yesterday, they said that the multi-billion peso Horizon Manila Reclamation project in which three islands connected by artificial bridges between Manila-Pasay border in the south and Roxas Boulevard in the east stretching to about 3.5 kilometers in Manila Bay will be constructed will exacerbate flooding in Manila.

The reclamation island, they said, will block rain water from escaping to the sea. Rain water will be trapped and has nowhere to go because the reclamation island will be higher than the water and will form a bowl that will keep flood waters in, they added.

The pro-environment group Mamamayan para sa Kalikasan Coalition said that Manila Bay in Ermita, Malate, and Intramuros “has been important culture, art, and tourism destinations whose potential should be maximized along what the other great cities have done for the waterfront and historical districts and improved rather than destroyed.”

It added the reclamation project is contrary to Resolution No. 19, Series of 2012, of the National Historic Commission of the Philippines that declared Manila Bay and the Waterfront from the Delpan Bridge in Tondo, Manila to the Cultural Center of the Philippines on Roxas Boulevard, Manila as a national historical landmark.

The Horizon Manila is among four reclamation projects approved by the administration of Mayor Joseph Estrada to bring economic benefits to Manila and its residents and enable it to achieve its goal of regaining its old title “The Pearl of the Orient.”