The state-owned Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) is launching phase one of Clark Green City in Pampanga province, north of Manila, and will auction off 1,300 hectares of the project’s total 9,450 hectares to local and foreign investors for lease and development.
Clark Green City, a designated special economic zone, provides an opportunity for 100-percent foreign owned companies to invest in urban development in the Philippines, which is expected to help accelerate foreign direct investment in the country.
The cost of developing the first phase of the project is estimated at P59 billion, to be shared mainly by international and local private sector proponents.
“Clark Green City will serve as the urban core of the Central Luzon metropolis,” BCDA President and CEO Arnel Paciano D. Casanova said.
“We are now preparing the Terms of Reference (TOR) [for the auction]and once finalized, we hope to start the process for the first phase by the third quarter,” he said.
The launch of phase one comes after President Benigno Aquino 3rd approved the master plan for the project during the NEDA Board meeting held on May 29.
Casanova said the BCDA hopes to attract real estate developers, industrial park builders, township builders, and institutional developers to Clark Green City under the first phase.
He said the 1,300 hectares up for auction in the third quarter will be divided into several lots or packages.
“We have been given the green light to plant the seeds of growth and development for the future generation. This is the first time the Philippines is building a new city from the ground up,” Casanova said.
He pointed out that Clark Green City will play a crucial role in increasing the country’s competitiveness, especially when the economic integration of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) begins to be implemented in 2015.
“It will open up the region to global trade and investments owing to the world-class infrastructure that is already within reach, like the Clark International Airport, the Subic Bay Seaport and the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX),” he said.
First green and smart metropolis
Clark Green City will be the country’s first green and smart metropolis, Casanova said.
“It will change for the better the way Filipinos live, the way Filipinos do business, and the even the way Filipinos spend their leisure time,” he said.
Casanova said the plan for the first phase is to bring in critical mass by locating institutions such as schools, government offices and hospitals. The University of the Philippines is Clark Green City’s first locator.
He said Clark Green City will be built to be disaster-resilient, taking into consideration the ill-effects of climate change. Just recently, the World Bank expressed its support for the project and will assist the BCDA in the area of innovation and sustainable green development.
Casanova said Clark Green City is envisioned to be a catalyst in creating a new breed of modern Filipinos. The new metropolis will serve as a portal to the world community and will empower the country’s next generation to be global citizens.
“We shall be seeing a new breed of Filipinos who will engage daily, through their work, with other citizens of the global community,” he said.
He added that it is time for the Filipinos to dream big and make Clark Green City part of their dream, adding that the project will promote inclusive growth and global competitiveness in the agricultural sector.
“The city and its resources will empower all types of people including farmers who will be equipped with much better knowledge and facilities to produce better crops and earn higher incomes using the expressways, Clark International Airport and the Subic Seaport to transport their goods both locally and internationally,” Casanova explained.
He added that Clark Green City will also ensure sufficient and better quality of food within and beyond through its agri-forestry research and development district.
Based on the Clark Green City District Plan, the new city will have five districts: a government district; a central business district; an academic district; an agri-forestry research and development district; and a wellness and eco-tourism district.
When fully developed, Clark Green City is expected to contribute approximately P1.57 trillion per year to the economy of the country and will generate 925,000 jobs, the BCDA said.
The BCDA has extensive experience in building a city after its success in developing Bonifacio Global City, the country’s most beautifully planned and developed city using best practices around the world.