THE City Government of Naga, Cebu has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Philippine Reclamation Authority for a 146-hectare reclamation project.
But even though this is a go-signal for the City to submit requirements, Naga will still have to pay penalties for reclaiming 16 hectares of coastline property without getting the approval of the PRA.
In a press conference yesterday, City of Naga Mayor Kristine Vanessa Chiong said that while they failed to secure a PRA approval for the city’s Baywalk Area, the reclamation project has completed the requirements, including an environmental compliance certificate.
Lawyer Janilo Rubiato, PRA chief executive officer and general manager, said in a press conference that they initially called the attention of the city government after it started conducting reclamation works without their approval.
Rubiato said the city had started reclaiming even before the time of President Rodrigo Duterte.
With the signing of the MOU yesterday, PRA decided to “regularize” the reclamation project but only if it complied with certain requirements, Rubiato said.
This includes documentation such as ECC, detailed engineering design, among others, before the PRA, he said.
Rubiato said they decided to approve Naga’s 16-hectare reclamation project because it is fully funded by the LGU and majority of the facilities are for government use.
But Rubiato said the City will still pay penalties to PRA. Rubiato refused to say an amount, but that the payment will depend on how much the city has spent for the project.
Chiong said that they were willing to pay the penalty imposed by PRA.
She said that once they start the remaining 130-hectare proposed reclamation project, they will follow the PRA’s procedure and will not start work without completing all of the requirements.