We are about to lose the spectacular Manila Bay sunset if developers have their way. We thought we had laid to rest the bid to reclaim Manila Bay in 1992, but 21 years later, we’re back to Square One. Worse still, we understand the reclamation (between the Manila Yacht Club and the U.S. Embassy) is a done deal between the Philippine Reclamation Authority (name-change from PEA-Amari) the Manila Gold Cost Corporation (owner is Wilson Tieng of Solar Entertainment) and the City of Manila.
At the petition site, the SOS Manila Bay Coalition recalls that “In 1992, a group called “Manila Goldcoast Development Corp.” lobbied for approval to reclaim the entire Manila Bay waterfront along Roxas Boulevard, between the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the US Embassy. This scheme was challenged by citizens, who fought to preserve the last remaining access to the bay along Manila’s historical district. The citizens won. The Manila City Council passed City Ordinance No. 7777, prohibiting reclamation in this area.
However, Goldcoast was, tragically, able to get City Ordinance No. 7777 repealed. In February 2011, City Ordinance No. 8233 reversed the prohibition. A consortium agreement was signed in April 2012 to reclaim the same waterfront along Roxas Boulevard, about 288 hectares of land, even swallowing up the Manila Yacht Club and the Philippine Navy Headquarters.
In addition to blocking the view of the sunset from Malate and Ermita, the reclamation will worsen floods, extinguish the tourism area along Roxas Boulevard, destroy the potential of our historic Intramuros, remove 20 vital anchorage berths for ships and most of all, take away from us a waterfront we all love.”
Doris Magsaysay-Ho hosted a press conference together with other anti-reclamation advocates — church groups, neighborhood associations, the National Historical Commission , environmental lawyers, artists, the Cultural Center of the Philippines — among other concerned groups and citizens, on Saturday at the Manila Yacht Club to help “Save Manila Bay”.
Vice Mayor Isko Moreno explained on twitter , the reasons behind his support for the reclamation plan.
1. We need new source of income for Manila. Is about to be bankrupt (3.5 Billion pesos in liabilties per COA )kahit na ideny pa yan ni lolong ….
2. We need to address employment prob of manila base on Prof. Briones of NCPAG. Highest unemployment rate is manila…..
3. We have to compete to growth compare to Makati, Taguig, Quezon city, Mandaluyong , san juan and now Pasay….
However, SOS Manila Bay Coalition says “No aspect of this scheme will improve the City of Manila in any discernible way — it is all for the profit of a few individuals.”
We must act to protest this reclamation and prevent further destruction and loss of our heritage. We will stop them again.
Save our sunset! No to Manila Bay reclamation! Sign the petition
The SOS Manila Bay Coalition also drafted the following “People’s petition against the reclamation of Manila bay” as follows:
Whereas, Manila Bay, covering the areas of Manila, Pasay, and Paranaque was reserved for the purposes of a national park under Proclamation 41 in 1954 by President Ramon Magsaysay, to be known as the Manila Bay Beach Resort;
Whereas, Republic Act 7586 issued in 1992, recognized the value of having a national park in the Manila Bay area and included it in the National Integrated Protected Areas System Act of 1992 notwithstanding the fact that portions of the Bay area of Pasay and Paranaque had already been reclaimed;
Whereas, the City Council of Manila passed City Ordinance 7777 on January 13, 1993 prohibiting any form of reclamation along Manila Bay from the U. S. Embassy to the Cultural Center of the Philippines, which Ordinance was approved by Alfredo S. Lim as Mayor of Manila and Jose L. Atienza as Vice-Mayor and Presiding Officer of the City Council of Manila;
Whereas, on June 6, 2011, the City Council of Manila passed City Ordinance 8233 amending Ordinance 7777 and all rules and regulations inconsistent with the Ordinance, and authorizing the Mayor of Manila, Alfredo S. Lim, to file an application with the Philippine Reclamation Authority to reclaim certain portions of the Manila Bay;
Whereas, the City of Manila signed a contract with Manila Gold Coast Corporation as contractor for the reclamation without a genuine consultation with the people, and in apparent contradiction with Republic Act No. 7586;
Whereas, Republic Act No. 7586 dated 1992 declares among others that the Manila Bay should be among the areas considered as a protected landscape and seascape of national significance which is characterized by the harmonious interaction of man and land while providing opportunities for public enjoyment through recreation and tourism within the normal lifestyle and economic activity of these land areas;
Whereas, Resolution No. 2012-04 of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines declared the Manila Bay and Waterfront from Del Pan Bridge to the Cultural Center of the Philippines on Roxas Boulevard as a National Historical Landmark, and is thus protected by Republic Act No. 10066, “The National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009”;
Whereas, the Philippine Tour Operators Association has launched a campaign to make Manila the center of culture, arts and recreation with our heritage landmarks, open parks, the boulevard, and the Manila Bay sunset at the forefront;
Whereas, the area of Manila Bay along the historic districts of Ermita, Malate and Intramuros have been important culture, art and tourism destinations whose potential should be maximized along what other great cities have done for their waterfront and historical districts and improved rather than destroyed;
Whereas, the present aggressive development of the area cannot be supported by the existing infrastructure, and extreme pressure is being placed on already inadequate water and power supply, traffic, sewage and sanitation — problems so far not solved, which can only worsen with reclamation;
Whereas, excessive groundwater extraction brought about by the growing population of Manila has caused the lowering of the land surface by several centimeters to more than a decimeter a year in the areas of Ermita, Malate and Intramuros;
Whereas, the lowering of the land level is causing floods to worsen year by year, and any reclamation made would be built at a higher grade causing rainwater to flow back into an already flood-prone area, destroying the already fragile ecological balance;
We are about to lose the spectacular Manila Bay sunset if developers have their way. Save our sunset! No to Manila Bay reclamation! Sign the petition:
Whereas, the coastal areas along the Manila Bay are at highest risk for liquefaction in earthquake scenarios;
Whereas, the Philippines suffers from a geographic disadvantage because it is one of the countries in the world which experiences the highest rate of sea level rise and any physical changes in the coastline will affect the way weather systems form, approach and behave on land;
Whereas, it is extremely important for all stakeholders to understand how these reclamation plans will impact our human communities, coastal and marine geology, biodiversity, heritage structures, and climate change;
Whereas, the planned reclamation of Manila Bay and the planned development of the area will directly affect the entire community made up of residents, businesses, tourism establishments, cultural heritage centers, and the Filipino people, and will destroy all hopes of making Manila the center of culture, arts, recreation, and tourism;
Therefore: We, our consortium, which includes registered voters of the City of Manila, are united in making the following PROPOSITIONS to the Sanggunian Panglungsod of the City of Manila:
I. Repeal City of Manila Ordinance 8233 and restore City of Manila Ordinance 7777;
II. Stop the planned and future reclamation of Manila Bay between the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the U. S. Embassy;
III. Cancel the contract between the Manila City government and the Manila Gold Coast Corp;
IV. Enact a master plan that maximizes the opportunities and potential of the waterfront for the enjoyment of the people.
Signed on this 5th day of January, 2013.
SOS MANILA BAY COALITION
Here are twitter reactions on #savemanilabay
Here are the Manila Reclamation plans
Manila bay sunset photo by alternakive