Home » Opinion » Firing Line » Goodbye, sunset view

Goodbye, sunset view



robert roque robroq firing line

IT’S true that all things come to an end even for the natural beauty of Manila Bay’s multi-colored sunset which is admired and renowned throughout the world.

The wonderful view will eventually vanish after the cleanup of Manila Bay since the cities of Manila and Pasay have signed already a memo­randum of agreement (MOA) to collaborate and extend support to the proposed reclamation projects of three private groups in Manila Bay. These cities are expected to benefit from the projects.

Manila Mayor Joseph Es­trada and Pasay City Mayor Antonino Calixto signed the MOA along with representa­tives from the three groups, namely Manila Goldcoast Development Corporation (MGDC), SM Prime Holdings Incorporated, and the Pasay Harbor City consortium.

Expected to rise in the area are the SM sites which are 300-hectare and 60-hectare projects of SM Prime Holdings; the Pasay Harbor City project which is a 265-hectare reclamation project of the Pasay Harbor City consortium; and the Solar City project of the MGDC, which is a 148-hectare rec­lamation project occupying the southern parcel of the Manila-Cavite Coastal Road and Reclamation Project-North Sector.

Estrada said Solar City alone is expected to gener­ate an estimated R50 billion in revenues for the city and provide 500,000 new jobs for Manila’s residents.

* * *

Land reclamation is the process of creating land from bodies of water such as lakes, rivers and bays. China can be considered an au­thority on the subject since it built islands and installations in the waters of the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

To some people, the term reclamation is a little awk­ward since it insinuates returning something to its true owner. The waters of Manila Bay do not belong to any particular individual, especially not the foreign businessmen involved in the project.

In case the government re­settles an estimated 300,000 informal settlers living in the area, which would put a stop to the dumping of garbage in the bay, is there no other option left other than recla­mation that would retain the bay’s natural sunset view?

Some fear creating land from the bay by filling it with rocks and debris would somehow pose risks of se­vere flooding in case of a massive storm. And what about those gigantic es­tablishments on reclaimed land and the people oc­cupying them in case of a much-feared magnitude 7 earthquake?

Money isn’t everything when lives are at stake.

* * *

SHORT BURSTS. For comments or reactions, email firingline@ymail.com or tweet @Side_View. Read current and past issues of this column at http://www.tempo.com.ph/category/opinion/firing-line/