• Singapore firms keen on Clark Green City – BCDA

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    SINGAPOREAN companies are looking at possible investment opportunities in Clark Green City, a top official of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) said.

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    In an interview on Thursday, BCDA president and chief executive officer Arnel Paciano Casanova told reporters that discussions have been held with Singapore-based Temasek Holdings and other Singaporean companies for possible investments in the country’s first smart, green and disaster-resilient metropolis.

    But the talks are still in the “exploratory” stage, he said.

    “They’re looking at urban development, which they are also doing in other parts of the world like they have investments in China, in India. But they’re looking at the Philippines also, considering that the Philippines is one of the biggest economies in Asean. So we are in discussions with them,” Casanova said.

    “As I said earlier, before the elections, there’s much interest coming from Japan, from Singapore and even from Europe, particularly France,” he said.

    BCDA already has a joint venture with the Japan Overseas Infrastructure Corporation, which is now the implementation stage.

    “So what we’re going to do with them is do the detailed master plan for the entire Clark Green City. That would also include the 218 hectares with Filinvest land,” Casanova said. “After the election, now that everything is settled, then we will pursue talks again and encourage Singaporean investments to come in and participate in Clark Green City.”

    On Thursday, BCDA held the closing ceremonies for its Singapore-sponsored green city development course in the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore, which was participated in by BCDA employees, local government leaders from government agencies such as Department of the Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), National Economic and Development Authority(NEDA) and the local government of Tarlac.

    “We would like to continue this program with Singapore, so that we will continue sending [leaders], learning from Singapore and at the same time, we will contribute to the knowledge base of Singapore by providing inputs on resiliency, which we are quite an expert now,” Casanova said.

    Under the green city development course, four separate batches of 25 government officials and officers travelled to Singapore in 2015 and 2016 to attend a 14-day extensive training on urban policy, governance and green city management at the NTU in Singapore. The training course was a joint program and was partially funded by Temasek Foundation and NTU.

    Singapore best practices

    THE low-cost housing project to rise within Clark Green City will incorporate the best public housing practices of Singapore, Casanova continued.

    “We sent our people to learn from the public housing best practices of Singapore. We are adopting the best practices that they have,” Casanova said.

    He said the planned low-cost housing project—targeted at workers who will be relocated in Clark Green City—is currently in the process of detailed engineering, which refers to the elements of the plan such as sewers and the floor area of the project.

    “So after we’ve done the detailed engineering, we’ll do the civil works, which is now the actual construction,” Casanova said.

    Last year, BCDA announced that it will be putting up a low-cost housing project that will cater to the estimated 85,000 workers who will be relocating inside the Clark Green City.

    The project will comprise around 2,000 housing units across 279 hectares of land inside the city.

    Bidding for the housing project will be conducted in November once the detailed engineering works are done.

    “So by next year, you will see actual vertical developments happening,” Casanova said.

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