Netherlands, PHL cooperate for sustainable development of Manila Bay

Today, the Philippines and Netherlands signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will pave way for cooperation on the sustainable development and management of the Manila Bay area.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia and Netherlands Ambassador to the Philippines Marion Derckx signed the MOU during a ceremony held at the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) in Ortigas, Pasig City.

NEDA said the two countries will work together toward the formulation of the Manila Bay Sustainable Development Master Plan (MBSDMP), which aims to provide a comprehensive framework for the sustainable development and management of the entire Manila Bay area.

NEDA photo

“We are fortunate to have the Dutch with us in this endeavor. Their extensive knowledge and experience in implementing programs and projects that protect vulnerable coastal zones are unparalleled,” Pernia said during the event.

“They have developed integrated and innovative solutions to coastal management that mimic natural processes, instead of working against natural processes. These infrastructure solutions, thereby, help boost their economy and food supply, among others, while ensuring that their coastal areas are protected,” he added.

NEDA said preliminary activities for the master planning exercise began in 2015 when the Philippine government requested the Netherlands government to dispatch a group of Dutch Disaster Risk Reduction experts to Manila to conduct a scoping mission aimed at identifying and assessing the current situation in the Manila Bay area and afterwards recommend measures for its sustainable development.

“After the mission, the Dutch experts confirmed the urgent need for a framework for the development and management of the Bay area,” NEDA said.

“These findings prompted the Philippine government to appropriate PhP250 million under the FY2017 NEDA budget for the formulation of the Master Plan,” it added.