Hundreds protest against Manila Bay reclamation

Featured South East Asia - February 16th, 2013
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Residents, artists, civic leaders and environmentalists took part in a “sunset watch” and demanded the Manila city government repeal an ordinance granting permission for Manila Goldcoast Development to reclaim 288 hectares (711 acres) of the bay and turn it into an international cruise ship terminal to boost tourism to the area.

“This reclamation will not only block the view of the famed sunset on Manila Bay but will also lead to worsening environmental degradation, like more floods,” one of the event’s organizers told AFP.

Protesters argue the development would block vital drainage areas for the city and raised concerns over the “propriety of the process” that led to the approval of the so-called Solar City project.

But residents were more concerned that the development, which would also house entertainment businesses and high-rise residences, would block the prime view of the sunset.

Officials of the real estate company were not available for comment on Tuesday.

Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim said that the Goldcoast project will reclaim only a portion of the water front and will jut out toward the sea, Philippine Inquirer reports.

Reclamation projects in Manila were banned by the city government in 1992 and was overturned in 2011.