Pampanga eyed as new megalopolis

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Pampanga is on its way to become a megalopolis and next economic corridor as government ramps up infrastructure projects and the private sector continues to invest heavily in the province, former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said.

“The private sector and government cooperation will play a significant role in transforming Pampanga into the country’s next major economic corridor,” Arroyo said in a statement.

Arroyo said renowned urban planner Felino Palafox Jr. has designed a development plan that would transform 218,100 hectares across 19 municipalities and three cities in Pampanga into a megalopolis, or a cluster of metropolitan areas, to unlock the vast economic potential of the province and decongest Metro Manila.

The megalopolis will span various cities and towns led by the Pampanga Golden Triangle composed of the cities of Angeles, San Fernando and Mabalacat and the high-density and fast-growing municipalities of Porac, Floridablanca, Lubao, Guagua, Santa Rita and Bacolor.  From the Pampanga Golden Triangle, the development will spread to a larger part of the province.

Arroyo, who has been appointed as presidential adviser for Clark flagship projects, said property and real estate companies already started investing in major projects in Pampanga after the footprint for the massive development of the province was laid out in 2016.

“The mega project also aims to make Pampanga as a major investment hub in the region. It will be supported by existing and future infrastructure projects such as the Clark International Airport, North Luzon Expressway, Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway and Manila-Clark Railway,” she said.

Pampanga is already the gateway to Central and Northern Luzon.  The development of the SCAD corridor, interconnecting Subic, Clark and Tarlac and the rise of Clark International Airport as well as the construction of Manila-Clark Railway will further boost the status of the province as the “Gateway of Asia” to the Philippines, Arroyo said.

She said that more than a substitute to the Manila International Airport, Clark International Airport is a major development in itself and can accommodate the logistics and airport industry of both Central and Northern Luzon.

Arroyo said the Build Build Build projects of the government will also support the development of the Pampanga Megalopolis. She said the construction of the Manila-Clark Railway is now in full serving, while the Clark-Subic Railway will start soon.

Under the masterplan, Pampanga will also have integrated mass-transport systems including Bus Rapid Transit, an LRT, wide roads with special lanes that promote walkability and bikeability, and a feeder system using medium-capacity vehicles.

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