Marina Bay Reclamation Project is the current centerpiece of Singapore’s successful masterplan of urban development. The name of Marina Bay Sands hotel, a flagship 5-star luxury hotel in Singapore is rightly named as the land on which the hotel was built originates from the reclamation sand being used to construct Marina Bay Reclamation Project. The success of Marina Bay Reclamation project is an excellent model for future reclamation projects in Manila Bay, Philippines.

Supply of Reclamation Sand in Singapore’s Marina Bay Reclamation Project

As Singapore is one of the smallest city-state in the World with a total land area of 720 square kilometers (km2), it needs the supply of reclamation sand from neighboring countries. The urban development miracle in Singapore indeed was made from the supply of reclamation sand from the neighboring countries including but not limited to Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, and Cambodia. Through land reclamations, Singapore has increased increase its land area by 22% or approximately 144 km2 since the year 1965.

Supply of Reclamation Sand

As early as the year 1969, the urban development visionaries of Singapore city-state started the land reclamation work to create 360 hectares which are now known as Marina Bay which was completed in 1992. A land reclamation feat standing from the sea master planned and created by Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority using the supply of reclamation sand from the neighboring countries including but not limited to Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, and Cambodia.

Current Development Highlights of Singapore’s Marina Bay Reclamation Project

Current developments in Singapore’s Marina Bay Reclamation project includes: (1) the Marina Bay Golf Course, the first 18-hole professional golf course in Singapore; (2) Marina Bay Art Science Museum, located within the Marina bay Sands which features cultural arts and sciences showcased in an area of 6,000 square meters Development with 21 gallery spaces; (3) Marina Bay Cruise Center, an international cruise ship terminal that can accommodate  mega-sized cruise ships; (4) Singapore F1 Grand Prix, the famous F1 motor race in Marina Bay Street Circuit; (5) Marina Bay Financial Center, and so many other developments.

Current Development in Singapore’s Marina Bay

Current Development in Singapore’s Marina Bay Reclamation as of June 2017

Singapore’s Marina Bay Reclamation Project can be a model for urban and reclamation development in Manila Bay

As of April 2018, there are 4 reclamation projects recently approved in Manila Bay spearheaded under the leadership of Mayor Joseph Estrada (former President of the Philippines) with a total land area of 1,292 hectares. These master-planned urban developments can redefine Manila as a global tourist destination in the next 25 years.

As President Rodrigo Duterte is ramping up the “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program of the Philippine Government, the Manila Bay reclamation projects will soon hit the ground running.

#Reclamation ProjectsName of ProponentArea
(No. of hectares)
1Manila Water Front CityWaterfront Manila Premier Development Inc. (WMPD)318
2Horizon ManilaJ. Bros Construction Corp.419
3Manila Bay International CommunityUAA Kinming Group Development Corp.407
4Solar City Manila BayManila Goldcoast Development Corp.148
TOTAL1,292

The dredging and extraction of the volcanic sand

Manila Bay with an area of 1,994 km which is more than twice the entire area of Singapore is one of the best areas to build master-planned reclamation development to propel Manila as the next global tourism destination. The real estate developers of the Philippines can model the Manila Bay reclamation development after the successful experience of Singapore’s Marina Bay Reclamation project using the supply of reclamation sand as backfill materials.

Where do the Real Estate Developers source the supply of reclamation sand to backfill the Manila Bay reclamation projects?

Given the strict environmental laws in the Philippines enforced by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the developers will most likely utilize the massive 7.5 to 12 billion tons of volcanic sand (lahar sand) deposited in Mount Pinatubo Area in Zambales which is accessible by barge to deliver the supply of reclamation sand or volcanic sand to Manila Bay with an approximately 148 km distance.

The dredging and extraction of the volcanic sand (lahar sand) clogging the rivers and farmlands of Mount Pinatubo to be used as the supply of reclamation sand to backfill the reclamation projects in Manila Bay, will not only provide thousands of jobs and economic development, but also help clean, rehabilitate and restore the Mount Pinatubo rivers and farmlands so the farmers can increase their harvest.

Indeed, the successful experience of Singapore’s Marina Bay reclamation development can be a model of urban development for the Manila Bay area and the supply of reclamation sand for the said projects can be sourced from the 7.5 to 12 billion tons of the volcanic sands from Mount Pinatubo with win-win benefits for all stakeholders.

Photo Credit: Correct Movement