Aerial view of the SM Mall of Asia Complex in Bay City, Metro Manila.

The reclamation of land from the surrounding waters of Metro Manila is used to expand the region's limited area of usable and natural land. There are about 25 projects that aims to reclaim more than 10,000 hectares (100 km2) of land in Manila Bay from the city of Navotas to the province of Cavite.[1] Reclamation projects have been met with opposition and criticism, especially from environmental groups.


An 1851 map of Intramuros showing the coastlines before the land reclamation in the early 20th century.

The early reclamation within the City of Manila began in the late 19th century during the Spanish colonial period when the construction of the Manila South Port subsequently moved the coastline westward and obscured Intramuros from the bay. The moat surrounding the fortifications was drained and turned into a recreational golf course by the American colonial government in the early 1900s. Post-war period saw the reclamation for the construction of the Manila North Port as additional facilities were built.

In 1977, then First Lady Imelda Marcos commenced the construction of Bay City in line with her City of Man project. The Public Estate Authority (now Philippine Reclamation Authority) was created to manage the project. The plan was to reclaim 3,000 hectares (30 km2) of land in Manila Bay. However, only 660 hectares (6.6 km2) were built encompassing the cities of Pasay, Parañaque and a small portion that lies within Manila. Among the major developments in Bay City include the Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex, SM Mall of Asia, Aseana City, and Entertainment City.

In 2017, the Manila city government announced that it has approved four reclamation projects: the New Manila Bay International Community (407.43 hectares), Solar City (148 hectares), the Manila Harbour Centre expansion (50 hectares), Horizon Manila (419 hectares) and the 318 hectares Manila Waterfront City.[2] In 2019, the Pasay city government approved two reclamation projects: the 265 hectare Pasay Harbor Reclamation Project and another 360 hectare reclamation project connected to the SM Mall of Asia Complex. Out of the 25 proposed reclamation projects, the Philippine Reclamation Authority only approved six: Horizon Manila (Manila), Manila Waterfront City (Manila), the Navotas City Coastal Bay Reclamation Project (Navotas), Pasay Harbor Reclamation Project, 360-hectare Pasay Reclamation Project (Pasay), and the Solar City (Manila). Horizon Manila is slated for construction in the first half of 2025.[3]


Project Area Cost Developer Construction Completion date Location Ref.
Manila Bay Freeport Zone (Bay City) 660 hectares (6.6 km2) Philippine Reclamation Authority 1986 Manila, Pasay, and Parañaque
Manila Harbour Centre 79 hectares (0.79 km2) R-II Builders Manila
Port of Manila 137.5 hectares (1.375 km2) Philippine Ports Authority Manila

Bay City

Main article: Bay City, Metro Manila

The Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex in Bay City, Metro Manila.

Bay City or the Manila Bay Freeport Zone is the 660-hectare (6.6 km2) reclamation area that is split between the cities of Manila and Pasay on the north side and Parañaque on the south.[4] The original plan was to reclaim 3,000 hectares (30 km2) of land in Manila Bay. It is known for the 77-hectare (0.77 km2) Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex, the SM Mall of Asia Complex, the Aseana City business park, integrated resorts and casino complex such as the City of Dreams Manila, Okada Manila and Solaire Resort & Casino, and the Asiaworld compound where the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange is situated.

Manila Harbour Centre

The 79-hectare (0.79 km2) Manila Harbour Centre is a mixed-use industrial estate and shipping facility located north of the Port of Manila (Manila North Harbor). It contains several industrial and commercial developments, as well as port and port-related facilities. A 50-hectare land reclamation expansion was approved by the Manila City Government in 2017.

Port of Manila

Main article: Port of Manila

The 137.5-hectare (1.375 km2) Port of Manila is entirely built up of reclaimed land. The port includes the Manila North Harbor, Manila South Harbor and the Manila International Container Terminal. It is located in the districts of Tondo and Port Area. It also includes the community Baseco, which is largely located on Engineer's Island.


Project name Area Cost Developer Construction Completion date Location Ref.
Navotas City Coastal Bay Reclamation Project 650 hectares (6.5 km2) ₱57.4 billion Navotas city government 2019 Navotas
Horizon Manila 419 hectares (4.19 km2) ₱100 billion Manila city government, JBROS Construction Corp. 2023 2027–2029 Manila
Manila Solar City 148 hectares (1.48 km2) Manila city government, Manila Goldcoast Development Corp. 2023
Manila Waterfront City 318 hectares (3.18 km2) ₱34.377 billion Manila city government, Waterfront Manila Premier Development Inc 2023 2028
Pasay Harbor City 265 hectares (2.65 km2) Pasay city government, Pasay Harbor City Corp. 2022 2028 Pasay
Pasay 360-hectare reclamation project 360 hectares (3.6 km2) Pasay city government, SM Prime 2022

Navotas City Coastal Bay Reclamation Project

Main article: Navotas Boulevard Business Park

The 650-hectare (6.5 km2) reclamation project in Navotas was approved in by the Philippine Reclamation Authority in 2018. It is envisioned to create a mixed-use community with residential, institutional, commercial and industrial areas suitable for port facilities, marine and tourism.[5] It is the only reclamation project that is currently being implemented.[6]

Horizon Manila

Main article: Horizon Manila

Horizon Manila is an upcoming mixed-use planned community to be built on a 419-hectare (4.19 km2) reclaimed land in Manila. It was approved by the Philippine Reclamation Authority in 2019 and construction will commence on the second half of 2023.[7][3][8]

Manila Solar City

Main article: Manila Solar City

Manila Solar City is 148-hectare (1.48 km2) reclamation project to be built through a joint venture between the City Government of Manila and the Manila Goldcoast Development Corporation. It would contain a mixed-use township that was planned in the 1990s but was stalled several times. It was finally approved by the city government of Manila in 2017.[2] The notice to proceed for to mobilize and commence actual reclamation works was approved by the Philippine Reclamation Authority on February 22, 2021.[9]

Manila Waterfront City

Main article: Manila Waterfront City

A joint venture between the City of Manila and Waterfront Philippines Inc., which will entail the reclamation of 318 hectares of land located westward from Rizal Park and extending up to the breakwater of Manila South Harbor. It is the second biggest reclamation project in Manila after Horizon Manila and is envisioned to become the financial center of the city. It was approved by the City Government of Manila in 2017.[2] The project received the approval of the Philippine Competition Commission in March 2021.[10] The notice to proceed for to mobilize and commence actual reclamation works was approved by the Philippine Reclamation Authority on August 29, 2022.[11]

Pasay Harbor City

Main article: Pasay Harbor City

The Pasay Harbor City would entail the reclamation of 265-hectare (2.65 km2) of land on the city's municipal waters. The project is a joint venture of the Pasay city government and Pasay Harbor City Corp., It was approved in 2019.[7][12][13]

Pasay 360-hectare reclamation project

In 2019, the proposal by SM Prime to reclaim 360-hectare (3.6 km2) of land and build a mixed-use township on the city's municipal waters was approved. It will be connected to the SM Mall of Asia Complex in Bay City.[14][15]

Planned and/or proposed

Metro Manila has multitude of reclamation projects in varying stages of development:

Seabed quarry

Currently, there are five (5) approved Seabed Quarry Permits issued by the Philippine Government for utilization of marine sediment as construction materials for the Metro Manila reclamation projects and New Manila International Airport in Bulacan.

Permit holder Permit area (ha) Location in terms of Municipal Waters Operator Transporter Land reclamation project site
Philippine Reclamation Authority 5,000 Naic, Tanza, Ternate, and Rosario, Cavite City Government of Pasay/SM Smart City Infrastructure Development Corporation Pasay Harbor City
V.I.L Mines Inc./San Miguel Aerocity Inc. 5,000 Rosario, Tanza, Naic, and Ternate, Cavite Boskalis New Manila International Airport
Avalar Mining Corporation Parcel 1 (1,651),

Parcel 2 (3,159)

Cavite City, Noveleta, and Rosario, Cavite Pasay 360-hectare reclamation project
Silverquest Mining Resources, Inc. 2124.3581 Naic, and Ternate, Cavite Manila Waterfront City
Seabed Resources, Inc. 4999 Naic, and Ternate, Cavite Horizon Manila

Beach nourishment

Manila Bay Beach

The beach during its temporary opening in September 2020.

Main article: Manila Bay Beach

Manila Bay Beach is a 5.4-hectare man-made beach located in Manila that was created through the process of beach nourishment. It is situated along Manila Bay and is part of an overall integrated coastal zone management aimed at coastal defense of the Manila Bay rehabilitation. When completed, the beach will cover a total length of 900 meters of the Manila Baywalk.[21] The beach was met with initial criticism when it was built, owing to the timing that it was constructed amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and concerns of adverse environmental effects caused by dumping dolomite on the polluted Manila Bay. However, it received the support of the majority of the public,[22] and has improved the environment surrounding it, including the significant drop of fecal coliform level in the waters surrounding the beach.[23][24]

Additional information

Project Location Total area added Cost
City/municipality Hectares Square kilometers
Manila Bay Freeport Zone (Bay City) Pasay, Parañaque and Manila 660 hectares 6.6 km2
Manila Harbour Centre Manila 79 hectares 0.79 km2
Port of Manila Manila 137.5 hectares 1.375 km2
Total 876.5 hectares 8.76 km2


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  3. ^ a b Abanes, Mariel (October 23, 2020). "A Sneak Peek at Manileño: The City Of Tomorrow". Metro.Style. Retrieved October 24, 2020.
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