PRA denounced over clearing Bay project

A property developer has challenged the power of regulator Philippine Reclamation Authority to defer the payment of government fees that paved the way for Waterfront Manila Premier Development Inc., a company controlled by the Gatchalian family, to start a P34-billion project.

The PRA gave the greenlight to start the project despite a pending case before the Makati Regional Trial Court.

In a 25 April ruling, the Makati court declared null and void WMPDI’s contract to reclaim 318 hectares in Manila Bay for allegedly failing to undergo competitive bidding and evaluation from the National Economic and Development Authority.

The court also indicated that the Gatchalian project will encroach on areas covered by another reclamation project of Asian Seas Resources and Construction Development Corp., a company controlled by the F.F. Cruz group.

In an interview on Tuesday, ASSERCO lawyer Jose Bernas said WMPDI’s proposal to establish a P34-billion horizontal development within a 318-hectare land along Manila Bay is not legally grounded.

“How can WMPDI push through with its project when it did not undergo a bidding process and evaluation by the National Economic Development Authority? Aside from that, we believe that the current PRA assistant manager does not have the authority to issue such approvals,” Bernas told the Daily Tribune.

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