One of the widely discussed topics during the election campaign and even during the presidential debates 2016 was decongesting Metro Manila in an attempt to solve the traffic crisis in the city. The same problem is what President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration is trying to address.
Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said on Monday, June 27, that the Duterte administration is planning to build a “new city” to decongest Metro Manila. He added that they are eyeing Clark, Pampanga with its international airport.
But former President Benigno Aquino III’s administration has already got the wheels turning on this vision, as what this meme has aptly pointed out.
The Clark Green City project is a 50-year development program that kicked off construction in April 2016 and is touted as “the country’s next modern, green and disaster-resilient metropolis.”
Aquino led the groundbreaking ceremony of the P607-billion project, initiated by the state-owned Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA).
The Clark Green City is going to be a business hub in the Clark Special Economic Zone that is estimated to be 9,450 hectares, although only 288 hectares is allocated for the project. This is still bigger than Bonifacio Global City, which only covers around 200 hectares, according to Aquino.
So what should the Filipinos expect from this new development project?
The Clark Green City is expected to become a city in its own right, boasting offices, retail outlets, residential parks, and home to 1.12 million residents. It is also expected to employ 800,000 workers.
As described earlier, the project is doing to be ‘disaster-resilient’ and less prone to flooding since it is designed to have the lowest elevation point of 56 meters above sea level, as well as a central park with a flood catchment basin. Aquino added that the area is also naturally protected from typhoons because it has the Zambales mountain range to the east and the Sierra Madre to the west.
It is also described as a green metropolis, where you can find institutional, industrial and commercial areas. It will use green technologies, such as renewable energy obtained from sustainable sources. It is designed to be “a place where one’s home, place of work, and places of recreation are within walking or biking distances from each other,” as described in a Business Mirror article.
But most importantly, this new economic hub might truly be able to decongest Metro Manila.
As Aquino has said during the groundbreaking rites:
“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 potential.”
This is just the first of the many solutions to decongest the country’s capital by finding another metropolis and economic hub that the Aquino administration started. Now, Duterte’s administration can build on this project and find more cities to develop in the future.
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