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Manila Bay project gets antitrust body’s clearance

The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) has approved the joint venture between the city government of Manila and developer Waterfront Manila Premier Development Inc. that plans to build “Manila Waterfront City” over Manila Bay’s reclamation horizon.

The Manila Waterfront City is a raw-land reclamation and development project covering 318 hectares of foreshore and offshore areas in Manila Bay, PCC said in a statement on Friday.

Located at the south of Manila South Harbor, the planned development will include a central business district, a gateway, a marina, a waterfront as well as entertainment, health and education hubs.

Under the proposal, Waterfront Premier, a real estate developer owned by Crisanta Realty Development Corp. and Pacific Rehouse Corp., will contribute capital and expertise. Meanwhile, the local government of Manila will contribute rights over municipal waters where the project will be developed.

The PCC said the transaction would not hurt competition. On the contrary, it said that it would even result in a creation of a new market that would be conventionally pro-competition.

“The transaction is a new area of investment formed for the creation of a residential and commercial real estate development project. This will expand the existing market and likely create an opportunity for the emergence of new markets for commercial and residential real estate within the City of Manila,” the PCC said, citing its March 9 decision on it.

“There are neither affected customers nor any commercial activity in the relevant geographic market,” it added.

The resulting unincorporated joint venture will be governed by a sharing arrangement with 51 percent for the Manila City government and 49 percent for Waterfront Manila.

Reclamation projects such as the Manila Waterfront City are assessed by the Philippine Reclamation Authority for their technical, environmental and socioeconomic merits.

For joint ventures that meet the thresholds under the Philippine Competition Act (PCA), PCC’s clearance is specific to competition implications in the commercial and residential real estate development markets in the affected areas.

Article and Photo originally posted by Inquirer last March 20, 2021 5:12am and written by Roy Stephen C. Canivel.