[ manilastandardtoday.com ] June 24, 2009
By Gigi Muñoz David
A P60-billion reclamation project in Manila Bay will add at least 160 hectares of prime space to Navotas City to spur economic activity in this coastal section of the metropolis.
Mayor Toby Tiangco, in one of the highlights of the locality’s second year of cityhood, will sign today a memorandum of agreement with a private group represented by the heirs of the late businessman Ramon Chuanico along with 1st Seafront Renew Inc. to dovetail a financial package for the project.
City engineer Rafael Soriano said phase one would stretch 3.3 kilometers parallel to the city’s Centennial Park with the second and third phases extending further off shore to expand the present land area of 1,069 hectares, of which 432 hectares are fishponds.
According to Tiangco, the idea of expanding the coastal portion came up 48 years years ago, foreseeing the rise of urban Navotas.
He said Municipal Ordinance 1 of Jan. 19, 1961 authorized the local government “to secure a loan from Ramon Chuanico for the reclamation of foreshore lands bordering the municpality of Navotas, Province of Rizal.”
Tiangco told Standard Today that SM had indicated interest in pursuing the venture which the town council acknowledged on July 19, 1996.
He cited Ordinance 96-03 reaffirming “the rights and authority granted previously to Ramon Chuanico to reclaim the forshore land... by him or his designated contractor, SM Investments Corp.”
Sources said the retail giant opted to get out of the project in 2005, choosing instead to open up business in mainland China.
In 2008, Tiangco asked Palafox Asssociates to design the makeover of Navotas together with Woodfields Consultants Inc.
The masterplan consists of a mixed use zone of residential and commercial sections with pocket parks including a business, art and leisure center.