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The state-owned Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) said the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board Committee on Infrastructure (Infracom) has given its seal of approval for the development of some 36,000 hectares in the Clark Freeport and Special Economic Zone into a new city half the size of Metro Manila.
BCDA President and CEO Arnel Paciano D. Casanova said the NEDA Infracom, chaired by Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and NEDA Director-General Arsenio Balisacan, has agreed to endorse the Clark Green City Master Development Plan to President Benigno S. Aquino III for final approval.
“We are very pleased that NEDA Infracom has approved our plans for Clark Green City, and hope that President Aquino will approve the project. This [project] promises to be one of the most important destinations not just in Central Luzon, but the country as a whole, for local and international residents, locators and investors,” Casanova added.
He said once President Aquino approves the Clark Green City Master Development Plan, BCDA can start the disposition and development of the property by next year.
Casanova added the development of the Clark Green City is expected to contribute in attracting investments, generating more jobs, boosting the economy and sustaining inclusive growth.
“Once at full development, Clark Green City would generate approximately P1.57 trillion per year to the economy of the country,” Casanova said. He added that jobs that will be generated will reach 925,000 jobs.
He said by developing the area which is at the moment idle land, BCDA would be able to unlock the value of the land that will benefit not only people in Central Luzon but in the rest of the country as well. He added that development of Clark Green City will generate inclusive growth because Clark Green City will provide opportunities for everyone.
Casanova noted at the heart of the 36,000-hectare property is a 9,450-hectare metropolis. “We will start by developing 1,321 hectares for the first phase,” he said
According to Casanova an approximate P59 billion will be used for the first five years of development. He clarified that the bulk of the development cost will be shouldered by the private sector since the mode of development will be through Public-Private-Partnership (PPP).
Casanova said Clark Green City is the first project of this magnitude that will be undertaken in the history of the country. “Not only are we building a new city, we are building the most modern city in the entire country,” he said.
He added that Clark Green City will also play a major role in decongesting Metro Manila not to mention sustain the country’s economic growth.
Casanova noted that Clark Green City will completely revolutionize the way people live, work and interact. “It will be a place where one’s home, place of work, and places of recreation are within walking or biking distances from each other. It will be a place where everyone is connected by both culture and technology. And with sustainability as number one priority in building the city, it is truly designed with future generations in mind,” Casanova said.
Casanova also said that the project will also serve as a showcase of what the country can offer in terms of urban planning and sustainable development.
“With the trend in building sustainable and modern cities in major countries across the world, through Clark Green City, we will be able to show our neighbors that the Philippines can likewise make a huge step in modern, sustainable development,” he said.