MANILA, Philippines - Plans are underway to build what could be the highest structure in the Philippines on a seven-hectare property formerly occupied by the Manila Seedling Bank Foundation (MSBF), a Quezon City official said yesterday.
Victor Endriga, senior adviser to Mayor Herbert Bautista, said in a phone interview with The STAR yesterday that they plan to build a P15 billion, 612-meter telecommunications tower that will be called the Philippine Diamond Tower.
Endriga confirmed this even as a proposed resolution regarding the development of the property owned by the National Housing Authority (NHA) was filed before the city council.
In the proposal, Councilors Jesus Manuel Suntay and Marivic Co-Pilar asked their peers to approve a resolution that will allow Bautista to enter into a joint venture agreement with the NHA.
“The Quezon City government and the (NHA) are committed and actively participating as partners in providing resettlement to (informal settler families),” read the proposed measure.
It noted that the NHA is the owner of the 69,759-square meter property that was formerly occupied by the MSBF.
The details on the joint venture have yet to be released. However, the councilors said the Urban Development Act of 1992 has tasked the NHA to provide assistance to the local government in implementing its housing programs.
NHA general manager Chito Cruz has yet to respond to requests for interview regarding the matter.
The city took control of the property and demolished the structures built by its occupants last year after claiming that the MSBF failed to pay real property taxes to the city government.
No to integrated terminal
Earlier, the Department of Transportation and Communications said they are considering the site as a possible location of an integrated transport terminal, similar to the one in Pasay City.
But according to Endriga, they are not keen on agreeing to such proposal since they have already come up with studies for the development of the Philippine Diamond Tower, which would be the second highest self-supported tower in the world next to Japan’s Tokyo Sky Free (634 meters).
When compared to tallest buildings in the world, its height would be next to Burj Khalifa in Dubai (828 meters) and Shanghai Tower in China (632 meters). It would be taller than the Makkah Royal Clock Tower Hotel in Saudi Arabia (601 meters) and the One World Trade Center in New York (541.3 meters).
In addition to telecommunications, Endriga said the tower will also be used for disaster risk reduction. He also admitted that a number of land developers are already in talks with the local government for the development of the other parts of the property.
He said they are looking into the possible development of hotels, shopping areas and parks in the area.
The official said the development could be a public-private partnership, and maintained that it would be beneficial for the local government and its residents as it would provide jobs and increase revenue.
He also assured safety of the proposed tower, saying they already surveyed the sturdiness of the soil and confirmed that the area is not prone to earthquakes.
“We hope to develop something that could be a pride of every Filipino,” he said.