Duterte takes control of reclamation from NEDA after 43 projects threaten to engulf Manila Bay
President Rodrigo Duterte has decided to yank back control of approving reclamation projects from the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) amid opposition to 43 land filling projects in Manila Bay, including the project of Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy.
On February 1, Duterte signed Executive Order No 74 which transferred the power to approve reclamation projects from NEDA to the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) under the Office of the President (OP).
Duterte said the PRA would cover “all reclamation projects, including those initiated by LGUs and all other agencies, government-owned or -controlled corporations or any government entity allowed under existing laws to reclaim land, for which there are no contracts/agreements yet executed.”
The EO was signed a day after the Makabayan Bloc issued a House resolution seeking to suspend the 43 reclamation projects covering more than 32,000 hectares in Manila Bay. Among these projects are the 265-hectare “Pasay Harbor City” of Duterte crony Uy and several projects approved by Manila Mayor Erap Estrada.
In the EO, Duterte said: “The PRA shall be under the control and supervision of the OP, while the power of the President to approve all reclamation projects shall be delegated to the PRA Governing Board. Such delegation, however, shall not be construed as diminishing the President’s authority to modify, amend or nullify the action of the PRA Governing Board.”
Duterte cited the need to “rationalize” the processing of reclamation projects to make these more sustainable economically and environmentally.
Based on the EO, PRA would have to get feedback from Neda, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and Department of Finance on all reclamation plans.