By Madelaine B. Miraflor
SM Prime Holdings, Inc. is now in the process of satisfying all the requirements of the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA), including an environmental study, to get approval for its massive land reclamation project in Manila Bay.
For instance, SM Prime is currently drafting an environmental study on its plan to reclaim 660 hectares of land in Manila Bay covering areas of Parañaque and Pasay.
PRA General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Janilo Rubiato told Business Bulletin that SM Prime is now working on a set of environmental studies in order to comply with government requirements.
“I think they are doing the detailed engineering and preparing the environmental studies. But in so far as the (approval), there’s no update yet,” Rubiato said.
“What they’re doing now is whatever is available that they can submit to PRA they submit it one by one,” he added.
When sought for additional details, Corazon Guidote, SM Investments Corp. (SMIC) senior vice president for investor relations, confirmed that the study is “being done in compliance with PRA’s requirements for approval”.
In 2013, the Pasay City government agreed to tie-up with SM group for the proposed multi-billion reclamation project covering 360 hectares of Manila Bay. Then in 2014, it bagged a separate contract to reclaim 300 hectares of area in Parañaque City.
SM Group is planning to merge the Pasay and Parañaque reclamation projects into one massive development, setting aside a combined investment budget of more than P100 billion for this specific venture.
The company is expecting to secure all regulatory approvals for this project this year.
SM Prime hired United States-based engineering and architectural firm Aecom for this project.
In April, it was reported that SM Prime, the leading integrated real estate company in the country, will be investing at least P50 billion yearly over the next two years to support its expansion program.
During the first three months of the year, the company saw its profit going up by 13 percent to P6.6 billion, compared to the P5.8 billion it had in the first quarter of 2016.
According to the company, the improvement was brought about by the 12-percent growth in its consolidated revenues, which reached P20.5 billion in the first quarter of the year from P18.2 billion in the same period last year.