San Pedro is home

The current San Pedro City Gateway Park (left) and an architect's conception of the New Gateway Park Complex

(The following cover story first appeared on the March 5-11, 2018 issue of OpinYon Laguna.)
MAKING San Pedro City a real home to its residents and guests is one of Mayor Lourdes Cataquiz’s major commitments to her constituents.
Unlike its neighboring cities of Biñan and Santa Rosa which have positioned themselves as major industrial and manufacturing hubs, San Pedro City intends to become the “real city of man,” where people live in comfort after a daily grind from the big city.
Since the 1970s, San Pedro City has been a haven for professionals and workers due to its close proximity to the business hubs of Metro Manila and later, to the industrial complexes of Calabarzon.
San Pedro has been nicknamed the “Dormitory City” as its location proves to be an ideal residence of choice for big-city workers.
It’s no surprise, therefore, that it currently ranks as the densest city not only in the province of Laguna but also in the entire Calabarzon region.

Major Renewal
What Mayor Cataquiz now envisions is a livable city with a green, clean, beautiful and safe environment for the residents of the “Gateway to the South.”
Already, ten big-ticket projects have been slated to transform the city into a vibrant hub for residents and tourists alike.
As San Pedro City has found a niche of being a haven for professionals and workers who want to rest comfortably after a hard day’s work, the city government intends to cash in on this development knowing full well that where there are people, there are business opportunities.
“San Pedro, as we all know, is already a residential city, and we would like to expound on the business potentials. We will develop the business part, and we hope businesses will come in”, a ranking city official who requested anonymity said.
These three projects are expected to commence this year as soon as the city government gets the go signal from the Department of Public Works and Highways, he also said.

New Gateway Park
Of particular interest is the renovation of the San Pedro Gateway Park – located at the corner of National Highway, Magsaysay Road and Mabini St, near the boundary of San Pedro and Muntinlupa – into a world-class park.
Plans include an arch-type air-conditioned skybridge connecting the park and the San Pedro Town Center, which has also been slated for redevelopment under the San Pedro Urban Development program.
Also slated under the Gateway Park rehabilitation program are commercial establishments and transport hubs, as well as satellite offices of government agencies such as the Social Security System.
The intersection itself will be transformed into a landscaped circumferential access road to ease the flow of traffic along the national highway.
“It will be a commercial activity hub, like Greenbelt,” the consultant said, adding that the project is being tied in with the construction of a northbound toll interchange along the South Luzon Expressway.
Meanwhile, the Y-junction at Brgy. Poblacion past the town proper will also be transformed into a circumferential access road to be known as the Dambana Rotunda Park with direct access to the City Hall.

Open Spaces
Another big-ticket project of the city government is the creation of open spaces along Pacita Complex which will provide a sanctuary for residents who wish to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. 
“We already know that Pacita is becoming a major transport hub for workers who commute to and from Metro Manila,” the official explained. “We would like to develop that park space as a frontage for Pacita” he continued.
The proposed open space will have amenities like landscaped gardens, child-friendly playgrounds, basketball area, tennis court, benches and trails, jogging paths and water fountains.
These will not only ensure environmental sustainability but also encourage residents to pursue a more active lifestyle.
“This should be a joint effort between the [Pacita Complex] homeowners’ association, the LGU, and private individuals, to maintain the goodness [of the park],” the consultant also emphasized. “Maintaining is a challenge for us.”
The construction of the open space park could not come at a better time, he also explained, with the commencement of the rehabilitation of the Philippine National Railways’ southern line this year.
“Pacita, as a major station, will also be developed,” he said. “It will be a drop-off for people going to Matnog in Bicol, and even in Calamba or Los Baños.”

Other Projects
This is on top of other proposed projects under the San Pedro Urban Development Plan, most of which are now on the drawing board.
These projects include a resettlement housing area – to be situated in Brgys. Landayan, Bagong Silang and Bayan-Bayanan, for the informal settlers who will be affected by the city’s other development plans.
Proposals are now also being fielded for a Shrine of the Resurrected Christ tourist area near the public cemetery, a new City Hall extension building, a new San Pedro “Technopark,” a “waste-to-energy” management facility, and a futuristic “SkyTrain” from Muntinlupa City to Biñan City.
The city government is now also working on plans craft a new City Development Code to accelerate the pacing of the city’s projects and speed up the delivery of services, as well as a proposed reclamation of the Laguna de Bay, to be executed in cooperation with the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA).
“We’re linking everything right now, it’s just a matter of time,” the consultant said.
While many of these projects may take months – or years – from conception to completion, Mayor Cataquiz has assured her constituents that these will completely revitalize the City of San Pedro into a “real home” for residents who over the years have considered the city to be their safe haven from the bustling life near the metropolis.

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