Should the Government Pursue Manila Bay Reclamation Project?

By: Sherwin in Editorial

Needs Grammar Check

The urge to continue the proposed 148-hectare Manila Goldcoast Reclamation Project along Manila bay, which is more known as the Manila Bay Reclamation Project is once again resurfacing amidst all the proponents and petitions eyeing to discard this plan. Environmentalists, artists and some politicians stood firm against this plan. One of the most active group that is opposing this move is SOS (Save our Sunset!) Manila Bay coalition. They even made a facebook page where facebook users which supports their advocacy may sign a petition.


There are also pro- Manila Bay Reclamation project page that was made in facebook like “Help Bring Back Manila’s Pride and Glory” but it has been galed with contemptuous comments and questions from netizens. A petition site at titled “SOS Manila Bay: Save our Sunset, No To Reclamation” says that “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.”

Environmentalists are boldly against this plan. One of them was Dr. Kelvin Rodolfo, an Environmental Sciences Professor at the University of Illinois, who said that the reclamation project would pose lethal risks to many people including danger of land subsidence, storm surges, storm waves and further ecological damage to coastal ecosystem.

Environmental groups are also opposing the agreement of the National Government and the National Reclamation Authority (NRA) to reclaim 148-hectares along Manila Bay, saying further reclamation would not only damage the remaining coastal habitat and eco-system but will also effectively block the natural pathways of the river system flowing into the bay, thus increasing the threats of massive flooding in Metro Manila.

The reclamation project would need 19 million cubic tons of sand that would destroy coastal ecosystem. According to Eloiza Tolentino, the coordinator of the Eco-Waste Coalition.

All of these proponets displayed evident and alarming issues which can really affect the status of the said project. But it is also better to ask some urban planning experts like Felino “Jun” Palafox, the principal architect and managing partner of Palafox Associates for us to get more conviced on which side are we going to choose reagarding this matter.

“There are disadvantages to doing a reclamation project, like it can worsen flooding, block the views of existing waterfront development, harm aquatic resources, environment and heritage historic sites. However, there are also many advantages if planned, designed, engineered, and implemented properly in the right place, at the right time, at the right land-use density and type of development. In Europe, they call water reclamation Corniche.” Said Palafox.

He quoted other examples from around the world. Singapore reclaimed over 6,000 hectares to enlarge the island from the original 65,000 hectares to 71,000 hectares. Two-thirds of The Netherlands is reclaimed, yet there is no flooding. Dubai originally had only 70 km of waterfront. The government reclaimed the Palm Islands to add 2,000 km more of waterfront.

The Manila Bay Reclamation Project bidding is already done and have already been awarded to SM Group. The start of the construction proper isn’t decided yet because they are still looking for everyone’s approval. Senator Cynthia Villar was the latest known personality to oppose this project and this will cause the developers to further delay the project.

My take on this issue is that, we can still let this thing happen provided that we plan this very thoroughly while considering the welfare of our environment. If this project gets done, it will surely generate more jobs, more tourists and a higher income for the government which can be put to good use.




Good Day mates! I’m Sherwin, I am an Electrical Engineering student at Rizal Technological University. I love writing articles and editorials second only to reading interesting conspiracy theories. Feel free to contact me, if you find my opinions and articles a little bit offensive or unoriginal. Follow or add me @

Posted by on 17 Dec 2013

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