THE Philippine government has struck a deal with Japan to form a $2-million joint-venture firm to design part of the Clark Green City at the country’s free port zone, eyeing the site to become a major economic center in the Southeast Asian bloc.
The Philippines’ Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) signed the deal on Tuesday with the Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corp. for Transport and Urban Development (JOIN).
JOIN is a Japanese government corporation that aims to invest and participate in transport or urban development projects involving Japanese companies, such as bullet trains, airports, and green cities.
Under the agreement, a joint venture corporation between the two parties will be formed, whose primary task will be to craft an infrastructure blueprint for the planned Clark Green City.
JOIN will fund 55-percent of the joint venture, while BCDA will own the remaining 45 percent, as per JOIN Chief Executive Officer Takuma Hatano.
BCDA President and CEO Arnel Paciano Casanova said the master plan, set for completion this year, would only be for 288 hectares of the planned 9,450-hectare Clark Green City.
Casanova said the joint venture could lure more foreign investors, particularly, Japanese companies into the envisioned master planned community.
“By investing in Clark Green City, JOIN will help transform it into a major economic center of the Asean economic bloc,” Casanova said.
The Japanese government’s target investment for infrastructure worldwide is Y30 trillion by 2020.
“It will create a platform for Japanese business and government to fund and develop specific projects in Clark Green City,” Casanova said.
Hatano noted that the Clark Green City is attractive to Japanese investors, as it offers free trade zone incentives and is near the Subic port area.
Casanova said the creation of the master plan for Clark Green City would generate employment and education opportunities, with the development of various industries in the area.
“The detailed master plan will identify the precise boundaries and measurements of streets, lots, waterways, development zones, and building types, among others, which will be used as the basis for infrastructure design and its eventual construction,” Casanova said.
The entire Clark Green City is envisioned to be the country’s first smart, green, and disaster-resilient metropolis. It is located inside the Clark Special Economic Zone in Central Luzon.
“The city will adopt smart and green features like compact walkable communities with generous open spaces, mass transportation, remotely-managed utilities, high-bandwidth connectivity, protected biodiversity, energy efficiency and urban farming, among others, making it one of the country’s most livable cities of the future,” Casanova said.
The site is strategically linked to major cities in the region through major roads in all directions—the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX), Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX), and the upcoming Central Luzon Expressway (CLEX).
This allows the Clark Green City to serve a catchment population of some 12 million people, especially with a direct link to the Clark International Airport.
The government expects the envisioned community to host over a million residents and about 800,000 workers, generating some P1.57 trillion yearly, once fully developed.
Japan Ambassador to the Philippines Kazuhide Ishikawa and BCDA Chairperson Ma. Aurora Geotina-Garcia witnessed the signing of the agreement held at the Bonifacio Global City, south of Metro Manila.