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SM sees reclamation projects OK in 2017

Posted on January 24, 2016 08:15:00 PM
By Krista A. M. Montealegre, Senior Reporter [ bworldonline.com ]

SM PRIME Holdings, Inc. expects its massive land reclamation deals with the cities of Pasay and ParaƱaque to hurdle all regulatory approvals next year, a company official said last week.

SM Prime Commercial Properties Group Senior Vice-President David L. Rafael told reporters last week the firm is set to present the master plan to the two local government units, which will then endorse it to the Philippine Reclamation Authority for approval.

SM Prime must secure all the permits from the government, the last of which will come from the National Economic Development Authority Board chaired by the President, before it can proceed with the development of the reclamation projects.

A new administration is expected to give the projects’ final approval, as President Benigno S. C. Aquino III is scheduled to step down from office in June.

“Siguro by 2017 okay na ’yan. Plantsado na naman lahat (Hopefully by 2017 it will be okay. Everything is ironed out),” Mr. Rafael said.

“It’s for the benefit of everyone. It’s going to mean progress, more jobs, more taxes. How can anyone oppose it?” he added.

The cities of Pasay and Paranaque, in 2013 and 2014 respectively, both awarded to the SM Group separate contracts to reclaim and develop around 300 hectares (ha) each in Manila Bay under their jurisdiction for P54.5 billion and P50.19 billion, respectively.

The company will spend over P100 billion for the reclamation and development of the two huge parcels of land, SM Prime President Hans T. Sy had said.

SM Prime will release the master plan prepared by US-based engineering and architectural firm Aecom for the 600-ha integrated project after obtaining government clearance.

The master plan incorporated more open space, which will account for 30% of the entire development, and focused on the transportation aspect of the project, Mr. Sy had said.

The SM Group last year won another reclamation deal, a P138-billion 1,500-ha project in Cordova, Cebu.

Meanwhile, SM Prime plans to transform the old Paskuhan Village in San Fernando, Pampanga into a mixed-use development after buying the 9.7-ha property last year, Mr. Rafael said.

The project may incorporate residential and commercial components, but it may no longer house a shopping mall since it is located right across SM City San Fernando, he added.

The real estate firm had purchased the land from the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority at P10,000 per square meter.

Also, the company will unveil the Acapulco Manila Galleon Trade Museum at the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City in the second half of the year, Mr. Sy told reporters last week.

“We will try to revive the whole history of the galleon trade. We’re still in the final stage of coming up with the replica of the first galleon ever built in the Philippines,” Mr. Sy said.
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