Duterte transfers PRA under his direct supervision
President Rodrigo Duterte has transferred under his direct supervision the Philippine Reclamation Authority in the wake of planned massive reclamation activities in Manila Bay.
Executive Order No. 74, which Duterte signed on February 1, said from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the PRA shall be under control and supervision of the Office of the President.
The power of the President to approve all reclamation projects shall be delegated to the PRA Governing Board, the EO read.
"Such delegation, however, shall not be construed as diminishing the President's authority to modify, amend or nullify the action of the PRA Governing Board," it said.
Some private companies with the approval of the local government units, particularly the cities of Manila and Pasay, have been planning for reclamation projects in Manila Bay.
Some party-list representatives earlier accused that the ongoing rehabilitation of the Manila Bay could be a prelude to 43 reclamation projects, including the one being pushed by Duterte's campaign contributor Davao City-based businessman Dennis Uy.
The EO said it shall apply to all reclamation projects, including those initiated by the LGUs and all other agencies, government-owned or -controlled corporations or any government entity allowed under existing laws to reclaim land, for which there are no contracts/agreements yet executed between the government entity concerned and a private sector proponent prior to the effectivity of the Order.
"Subject to relevant laws and regulations, the PRA shall ensure that all reclamation projects undergo competitive public bidding consistent with the government's thrust to promote transparency and competitiveness," the EO said.
Under the EO, Duterte ordered the PRA to craft and implement a five-year development plan to transform the PRA as a premier reclamation authority.
"The PRA Governing Board is enjoined to allot at least five percent of its net earnings to develop its capability and expertise to reclaim land, including the modernization of its dredging and reclamation technologies, subject to relevant budgetary and accounting laws, rules and regulations," the EO said.
Duterte tasked the PRA to submit to the OP for approval the necessary rules and regulations for the implementation of the Order, which shall take effect immediately.
In a press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Duterte could have placed under him the PRA "to fast-track" the implementation of all projects under the concerned agencies. Celerina Monte/DMS