STATEMENT OF SUPPORT FOR THE TRANSFER OF APPROVAL OF RECLAMATION PROJECTS TO THE NEDA BOARD

5 December 2013 -The Makati Business Club and the Management Association of the Philippines join concerned organizations and citizens in commending President Aquino for signing Executive Order No. 146, which delegates the President’s power to approve reclamation projects to the NEDA Board and essentially limits the Philippine Reclamation Authority’s role to processing, evaluating, and recommending the approval of proposed reclamation projects to the NEDA Board. The issuance of the measure is a prudent response to public apprehension over the risks posed by proposed reclamation projects, most extensively along Manila Bay. Amid geohazard warnings and an urban metropolis already straining the limits of its carrying capacity, this measure raises the development bar, requiring all ecosystem alteration to align with sustainable development goals. We believe that sustainable development is an indispensable component of inclusive growth. By strengthening the regulatory structure over the approval of these reclamation projects, EO 146 sends an encouraging signal that the national government is more conscious of pursuing a holistic approach to progress, one that balances the need to generate government revenue streams and employment with the protection of the environment and public safety. As the agency tasked to coordinate the government’s social and economic development policies, NEDA is in the best position to assess how such projects align with our country’s development goals. We look forward to seeing NEDA carrying out its mandate toward a broader decentralization of investment, founded on integrated area development initiatives, designed to fuel both inclusive and geographically equitable opportunities for all Filipinos.

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