The Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) has identified 96 reclamation ventures in varying stages of evaluation or approval along with 487 unauthorized projects that the government plans to either seek reimbursement from or take back the lands through forfeiture proceedings.
Speaking at the 40th anniversary celebration of the PRA, Finance Secretary, Carlos Dominguez III, said that the agency has already given the go-signal to 20 of the 96 projects, which could potentially generate hundreds of billions of pesos worth of public assets and help modernize some of the country’s most vital ports.
The PRA, he said, is also open to unsolicited proposals to enable the private sector proponents to partner with the government and share their innovations and technologies to help build “economically and environmentally sustainable property developments.”
“We cannot overstate the importance of growing our land to support our nation’s development. Being an archipelago, we actually have less land between mountainside and shoreline for cultivation and habitation than it might seem. As our population continues to grow, pressure on the land assets will continue to rise,” said Dominguez.
“We have hundreds of thousands of Filipinos residing in hazardous areas. These are areas along steep slopes, riverbanks and shorelines vulnerable to flood surges and landslides. We urgently need new and safer areas to be developed for habitation,” he added.
Dominguez said that this new land is needed to supplement the available space for new roads and ports.
He added that the PRA, which has the power and authority to dispose idle public lands and enter into contracts, will play a key role in expanding the land area that the country needs to fill these ever-growing requirements.