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Green city to rise in Clark

TARLAC – The country’s next modern, green, and disaster-resilient metropolis will soon rise in the heart of Central Luzon.

The construction of the P607-billion Clark Green City formally kicked off yesterday after President Aquino led the groundbreaking rites of the project that is expected to be bigger than the Bonifacio Global City.

The Clark Green City, a project initiated by the Bases Conversation and Development Authority, involves the development of a 9,450-hectare proposed business hub located inside the Clark Special Economic Zone.

The envisioned green city is expected to boost economic growth and generate jobs in the region.

“Just to give us an idea of the Clark Green City’s scale, Bonifacio Global City is roughly about 200 hectares,” Aquino said in his remarks.

“By the time of its completion, it is envisioned to be a city in every sense of the word. It will be home to companies, retail outlets, offices, residential parks, accommodating 1.12 million residents and 800,000 workers,” Aquino added.

Aquino said Clark Green City also embodies his government’s vision for a “more resilient Philippines.”

He noted that the number of 800,000 workers is roughly the amount of people that enter the labor force every year. “With just the Clark Green City, we will have opportunities for the new labor entrance,” he added.

Aquino said the Clark Green City would not be prone to floods since its lowest elevation is 56 meters above sea level while its central park will serve as a flood catchment basin.

It also enjoys the natural protection from typhoons with the Sierra Madre to the West and Zambales mountain range to the east, he added.

“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,” Aquino said.

“And I am particularly glad that, when I step down in office and have more quiet time to spend in Tarlac, I can watch over the development of this city and hopefully with a mayor who is smiling at the successes,” he added.

Aquino also thanked the government’s partners in the private sector, including Filinvest and Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corp. for Transport and Urban Development, for their active participation “to make this dream a reality.”

With the ground breaking ceremony led by the President, BCDA President Arnel Casanova said it’s now all systems go for the Clark Green City.

Casanova said the first phase of the Clark Green City development will involve the construction of an industrial zone and a mixed-use development covering 288 hectares. The project will be made in partnership with Filinvest Land Inc.

Apart from its favorable geographical conditions making it less vulnerable to floods and quakes, the envisioned Clark Green City will be a sustainable and modern metropolis, according to the BCDA head.

“The city will adopt smart and green features like compact walkable communities with generous open spaces, bike lanes, mass transportation, smart utilities, high-bandwidth connectivity, protected diversity, energy efficiency and urban farming, among others , making it one of the country’s most lovable cities of the future,” Casanova said.