Tarlac Gov’t and BCDA Sign MOA for New Clark City Development

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The local government of Tarlac and the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) recently signed a memorandum of agreement for a 52-hectare property inside New Clark City, the city tagged as the “vision of modern Philippines,” Sunstar reported.

The five-hectare chunk will hold the province’s offices, while the remaining portion will accommodate other institutional facilities of the local government.

Honored to be part of the country’s first smart, green metropolis, Governor Susan Yap expressed her joy over having a new address in the center of the largest, most active economic hub in Central Luzon. She also acknowledged the national government’s support in terms of investments in the region. 

For his part, BCDA President and CEO Vince Dizon stated that the partnership is a testament of the administration’s commitment to making New Clark City an inclusive development. He added they want Tarlac residents themselves to be the first ones to experience the economic rewards of the new city being built in their turf.

All Eyes on Clark 

The New Clark City located in Capas, Tarlac has been capturing national and global interest, especially at the time of the 30th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games). It was the center of the athletics and aquatics event, given its world-class facilities. As reported on the BCDA website, the metropolis boasts of a 2,000-seater aquatics stadium with an Olympic-sized fast pool. Its design resembles a baklad or woven fish nets, reflecting Filipinos’ identity largely influenced by the seas. The entire facility has a bamboo color theme, and its roof draws inspiration from capiz shells. 

Meanwhile, the athletics stadium features a 400-meter, nine-lane standard track. The design is reminiscent of the caldera or the crater of Mt. Pinatubo. Its structure, including columns and facade, are made from lahar or volcanic debris. The Athletes’ Village, on the other hand, accommodated several delegates, from athletes to officials and coaches down to international volunteers. The facility holds 525 rooms, in which 95 are dedicated to PWDs, gym stations, kitchen and dining rooms, conference areas, and recreational spaces.

Both the aquatics center and athletics stadium passed the standards of international governing bodies, such as the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and the Federation Internationale de Natation (FINA). Considered a grand feat, the development team received the nod from these associations after finishing the construction of the sports complex in only 18 months, a significantly shorter period than the typical, as Manila Bulletin reported.

The sports complex, along with the National Government Administrative Center (NGAC) is the New Clark City’s first phase of development.

The Modern Metropolis

The state-run project New Clark City earned the title “the vision of a modern Philippines” because of its progressive design blueprint. It’s sustainable, energy efficient, and conducive for dwellers. According to its official website, the 9,450-hectare land will have five districts. District 1 will be the Government District, accommodating national and Central Luzon government agencies. This particular zone will help decongest Manila, the seat of administrative power, as the development would decentralize government services. 

District 2 will be the Business Zone, with a total land area of 2,690 hectares. It will house residential communities, business processing outsourcing agencies, and light manufacturing companies. It’s worth noting that Tarlac is one of the emerging cities in the country, identified to be competent to support the information and communications technology needs of industries.

Meanwhile, District 3 will become the “university town,” hosting national and international academic institutions, which provide high-level and/or specialized programs. Aside from actual campuses, the zone will be teeming with dormitories, sports and recreational areas, and shopping centers. Over the years, the country has seen an increase in the number of foreign students, which is why the university town is a strategic development designed to entice more investments.

District 4, called the Agri-Forestry Research and Development District, will have a total land area of 3,135 hectares. Accommodating organizations involved in the research and development of agricultural and forestry products, it will be the center bolstering Central Luzon’s food production industry. The district will have laboratory and demonstration farms, greenhouses, and testing and support facilities, which will help farmers in the region and enable more efficient production of agri-forestry products.

Finally, District 5 is the wellness and eco-tourism zone, situated at the highest elevation of the city. The 2,513-hectare land is marked by natural vegetation and wildlife. It will have tourist areas, retirement communities, and spaces for spas and alternative health approaches. The plan for development will have minimal disruption on the site, preserving its natural features. At the same time, the zone will display cultural items, paying homage to indigenous traditions and heritage of the land.

Sources: Sunstar, Bases Conversion and Development Authority, Manila Bulletin, New Clark City PH
Main photo via the New Clark City Facebook Account

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