Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) said on Tuesday, October 8, that New Clark City is now ready to open on November 8, Friday, for this year’s Southeast Asian Games after being considered its construction as 99 percent completed.
Phase 1 finally built
According to BCDA and CEO Vince Dizon, the 60-hectare phase 1 of the mega-development was built in less than 2 years which employed over 8,500 workers during its peak construction period.
Dizon stated that phase 1A, worth up to P13 billion, is where all the facilities needed for the SEA Games was included.
He also said that the idea of developing the Clark, a former US air base, was proposed as early as the 1990s. However, it was the “strong-willed” President Rodrigo Duterte who only made it possible.
“It’s one thing to plan, and it’s a different thing to get on the ground and start implementing and making it happen and that, I think, what President Duterte has proven, that in less than 2 years, phase 1 of a mega-development of the New Clark City can actually be built,” he asserted.
Phase 2 undergoes construction
Phase 2 of Clark is still undergoing construction now. This is where more government offices will be built.
Meanwhile, sports facilities that will be used for the 30th SEA Games, such as the Aquatics Center, Athletes’ Village, and River Park, have been completed and have since been tested by Filipino athletes form the past months.
This time the challenge for the BCDA is to ensure that the development of the rest of the master plan will continue beyond Duterte’s administration. Phase 1 is only part of the 9,500-hectare master plan, of which 4,000 will be developed. Dizon said it would take 35 years to complete the development.
A metropolis – New Clark City
New Clark City is considered one of the big-ticket projects of BCDA under the Build Build Build infrastructure program. The New Clark City will be the country’s first smart, green, and resilient metropolis in the country.
“The planned developments in Clark will not only happen very soon; they are already happening as we speak,” Dizon said.
“This is a legacy project and we have to finish it quickly,” Dizon quoted from their meeting with the president back then.
Duterte himself sees Clark as an ideal investment destination in the country. “For want of space, if people would go to us, easily I would say, ‘Go to Clark’,” the President said in December last year.