THE chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means said on Tuesday that the resumption of the reclamation projects under the Pasay Eco-City Coastal Development could yield a staggering P563 billion in real estate assets for the government, and adding revenues from these projects could fund the government’s ambitious housing program.
Albay Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda made the statement following President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s decision to greenlight the resumption of Pasay City’s reclamation projects—Pasay 265 with Pasay Harbor Corporation and Pasay 360 with SM Smart City Infrastructure and Development Corporation.
“As we emphasized during the hearings, Pasay City is in fact a very strong case for responsible reclamation. Historical flooding maps show that the existing Pasay reclamation projects have in fact provided flood protection. This is as opposed to areas without a reclamation project fronting their shore, which have experienced more flooding than areas with a reclamation project,” said Salceda after his committee hearing about the revenue and economic implications of keeping the projects suspended.
“Both projects combined, based on our estimates, could yield as much as P563 billion in real estate assets for the government,” said Salceda.
By law, Salceda said 50 percent of Philippine Reclamation Authority income, under RA 7279, is earmarked for housing.
“The revenues generated from these projects can play a pivotal role in fueling President Marcos’s ambitious housing program, addressing a critical need in our society,” he said.
Salceda hopes that other reclamation projects with complete compliance and a high level of construction progress can be pushed through.
“One such project is the 318-hectare Manila Waterfront City Development Project, which has also been suspended but which appears to be fully compliant with DENR requirements,” he said.
Salceda also clarified that, contrary to some published reports, the City of Manila does not have objections and in fact actively supports its resumption.
“The US Embassy’s expressed reservations were also clarified, and they were not actually objections. I also emphasized that, if there are national security concerns, they should properly be channeled to the Interagency Investment Promotion Coordination Committee established under the Foreign Investment Act amendments so that they could be heard and formally resolved,” he said.
“The President’s recent action reflects that this government’s stance on reclamation will be rules-based, data-driven, and evidence-based,” added Salceda.
During a recent briefing, Pasay City Administrator Peter Manzano said reclamation projects in Manila Bay can easily generate at least one million jobs from horizontal development and commercial operations alone. Foremost among these, according to Manzano, are the “millions of jobs and billions of revenues” the projects will generate.
The Eco-City endeavor included the 360-hectare reclamation project under a joint venture with SM Smart City Infrastructure and Development Corporation, dubbed “Pasay 360.”
By the city government’s projection, national taxes from investments and businesses from the reclamation may total over P1.3 trillion in 35 years’ time. Meanwhile, revenues for Pasay may also total over P1.1 trillion in real property and business taxes.
The Eco-City project is designed to change all that, giving considerable windfall to the national government in the process.
“Once reclamation is completed, the national and local governments stand to gain, at no financial cost, 131.25 hectares of saleable reclaimed land with a future estimated total value of over P650 billion once the area and its amenities are fully developed,” he noted.