THE former mayor of Cordova, Cebu yesterday said the SM Group of Companies has already spent US$2 million for the feasibility study (FS) of its future 1,500-hectare reclamation project in the town.
Secretary Adelino Sitoy, presidential adviser for legislative affairs and head of the Presidential Liaison Office, said Henry Sy Jr. of the SM Group told him and his daughter, Cordova Mayor Mary Therese Sitoy Cho, the FS includes the building of canals and bridges like those in Venice, Italy.
However, the design of the structures, the ports and the business models will be patterned after Singapore, he said.
“That’s why we will call that a ‘little Singapore’ in the Philippines,” Sitoy said.
He said the SM Group will implement the project under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) with Cordova and the Province.
“The project will be implemented at no cost to the government. The proposal of the SM Group was put to a Swiss challenge two years ago. All the processes and procedures under the PPP were complied with,” he said.
The FS, which is being worked out by experts from The Netherlands, will be submitted to the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) either by December or the first quarter of next year.
The reclamation area will cover the shores off Barangays Pilipog, San Miguel, Bambang, Day-as and Buagsong.
There will be four to five islands that will be created within the reclamation at 200 meters wide each. These will be crisscrossed by canals and bridges to protect the environment. Motorized bancas of fishermen and tourism enthusiasts can pass along the canals.
Sitoy said the SM Group will choose the docking area for cruise ships that can carry 5,000 passengers.
“There will be no electrical post and you cannot see wires like spaghetti because all the lines will be underground,” he said.
Once the reclamation will be completed, Sitoy said the SM Group will get its share of 49 percent. The remaining 51 percent will be divided by Cordova, the Province and the PRA.
When asked what the local governments of Cordova and the Province will do with its share, Sitoy said they will offer areas where the University of the Philippines campus in Lahug or the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, both in Cebu City, can transfer. He also said they will set aside 20 to 30 hectares where the Cebu City Sports Center can relocate to, so the Abellana National High School can fully utilize the current facility for educational purposes.
He said the business area within the reclamation will complement the Mactan-Cebu International Airport and the Cordova-Cebu Link Expressway.
“It’s easy to offer areas to Cebu City institutions once the third bridge will be operational by 2021,” Sitoy said.
The third bridge is being implemented by the Cordova-Cebu Link Expressway Corp. (CCLEC), a joint venture of Acciona Construction of Spain and First Balfour Inc. and D.M. Consunji Inc. of the Philippines, which came up with the design.
CCLEC is a subsidiary of Metro Pacific Tollways Corp., which will operate the third bridge for a period of 35 years.