11 Apr 2016

President Aquino leads groundbreaking ceremony of Clark Green City
(CAPAS, Tarlac) President Benigno S. Aquino lll on Monday led the groundbreaking ceremony of Clark Green City, the country’s first smart, green and disaster-resilient metropolis, in Sitio Baloy, Barangay Aranguren here.Upon his arrival, President Aquino was assisted by Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) President and Chief Executive Officer Arnel Paciano Casanova and Chairperson Maria Aurora Geotina-Garcia, Interior and Local Government Secretary Mel Senen Sarmiento, and Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson in laying the time capsule of the 9,450-hectare property where Clark Green City will rise.

Casanova said the development of Clark Green City will be in phases. The first phase comprises 288 hectares to be developed by the BCDA and property developer Filinvest Land, Inc. The Filinvest parcel will have two distinct components — an industrial zone and a mixed-used development with residential, office, commercial and institutional elements.

At full development, Clark Green City will have some 1.12 million residents and 800,000 workers, and will contribute a gross output of approximately P1.57 trillion per year to the national economy, or roughly 4 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.

Eyed as one of the country’s most livable cities in the future, Clark Green City will adopt smart and green features, such as compact walkable communities with generous open spaces, bike lanes, mass transportation, smart utilities, high bandwidth connectivity, protected biodiversity, energy efficiency, and urban farming.

“Truly, as interest in our nation grows—and as markets develop across the country—projects like this are vital. Along with investing in our workforce and spending on critical infrastructure projects, we need to develop viable economic hubs, not just in Metro Manila or Cebu, but in provinces with high growth potentials,” President Aquino said in his speech.

“Over the past five years and nine months, our country’s fortunes have seen a dramatic turnaround. We have witnessed far more progress than we could have imagined, and we can take pride in the fact that we have completely shed the title of ‘Sick Man of Asia’, and are now referred to as ‘Asia’s Bright Spot’, or ‘Asia’s New Tiger’. Nevertheless, the work towards building a vibrant and inclusive Philippine economy continues, and this project, among others, heralds the next step in our journey, and I am hopeful that we can maintain, if not build on our momentum,” he further said.

President Aquino also expressed his gratitude to the assistance extended by the private sector and Japanese agencies, namely the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corporation for Transport and Urban Development (JOIN) “for their very active participation to make this dream a reality”.

According to the BCDA, Clark Green City is suitable as a back-up government center because it will be built to be disaster-resilient. The city’s location has a favorable geological condition, which makes it less vulnerable to earthquakes.

The city will also be spared from the damaging effects of strong typhoons since its neighboring mountain ranges — the Zambales Mountain and the Sierra Madre Mountain — will serve as natural barriers. Flooding will also be remote because of the city’s high elevation. PND (jm)