Clark Green City insulated from politics, says BCDA
Ding Cervantes (The Philippine Star) - January 20, 2016 - 9:00am

CLARK FREEPORT, Pampanga, Philippines – The head of the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) said his agency’s ambitious Clark Green City in this freeport would remain insulated from politics and will see completion through succeeding presidents.

BCDA president and chief executive officer Arnel Paciano Casanova compared the Clark Green City project to the Bonifacio Global City (BGC) also known as The Fort, also developed by BCDA since it was proposed way back in 1995.

“The BGC had been through several administrations and this is the same scenario for Clark Green City,” Casanova said.

He cited the BCDA as being under the Office of the President as main reason for the continuing development of the Clark Green City. “No president would want his office to fail in anything, especially on a project this important,” he said.

Casanova noted more leaders are now realizing the importance of decongesting Metro Manila which is now plagued with traffic problems. He also noted the effects of climate change on the metropolis where many areas now get flooded, as well as an earthquake fault that could devastate Metro Manila.

He stressed the location of the Clark Green City was determined as safest from natural calamities, even from Mt. Pinatubo eruption. “It has high elevation and is protected on its sides by mountains,” he added.

Casanova also said before his term ends, President Aquino is set to lay a time capsule for the project as a legacy of his administration to the Filipino people.

He also said the development of the Clark Green City beyond the Aquino administration is guaranteed by a 100-year contract with Filinvest Corp. for the development of some 288 hectares allocated for the project.

Casanova noted BCDA has also already forged “several major partnerships” with foreign investors that are expected to “generate thousands of jobs and expedite the Green City’s full development as a new flagship modern city in the Clark region.” Filinvest has already turned over some P160 million to BCDA as part of its commitment to the project, Casanova said.

He also noted signing agreements with foreign partners, including Al Ahli Holding Group, a conglomerate from the United Arab Emirates which plans to establish tourism-related projects at the Green City.

He also cited a memorandum of cooperation inked with the Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corp. for Transport and Urban Development to develop areas between Northern Luzon cities and Manila as part of plans for a railway system that would link the Green City to Metro Manila.

“There is also the IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, a foundation jointly owned by the Swedish government and two Swedish private firms for Green City’s smart and disaster-resilient features,” he said.

Casanova also noted BCDA has also signed a pact with Paris-based Vivapolis “to foster technical cooperation in the development of the Green City.”

“The French company will be one of our partners to promote sustainable resource management, inclusive growth, innovation, disaster resiliency, and enterprise development,” he added.

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