Soon a government center in new Clark City

 

By Rose de la Cruz

 

With P9.5 billion already being spent to build a government administrative center in new Clark City, plans to transfer government center in that spacious former American air base would soon be a reality.

 

It is even hoped that when President Rodrigo Road Duterte attends the SEA Games in November, some groundbreaking ceremony on the 20-hectare government site would be held, said Rep. Bernadette Herra, Bagong Henerasyon partylist and deputy majority leader of the House of Representatives.

 

She reported that government funds have been lent to the builders, Alloy MTD of MTD Capital Berhad, for construction of Phase 1A.

 

This would decongest Metro Manila as soon as Phase 1-B for more government offices start soon.

 

Herrera authored House Bill 3284 or the proposed New Clark City Government District Act seeking to transfer to New Clark City the non-critical back office operations of 22 national government agencies and 27 state firms to decongest the metropolis.

 

"Twenty hectares of land in New Clark City have already been set aside as part of the first phase for the government center there. Construction of Phase 1B is expected to begin shortly after completion of Phase 1A, which includes the sports complexes for the SEA Games and some government offices," she added.

  

The Supreme Court has already carved out a 5.8- hectare piece for the Judicial and Bar Council, the Philippine Judicial Academy, an archive center, data center, and a training center with living quarters, " Herrera added. 

 

The Supreme Court signed its MOU with the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) last July 4. The loan from the Development Bank of the Philippines was signed in May 2018.

 

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III has said, "government offices in Manila are scattered all over the city; and for the public, it's very difficult for them if they have to deal with several ministries to go from one place to another. This makes a lot of sense...We own the land, it's available, it will be accessible through rail, train, highways, so it makes sense to really consider moving here."

 

"If we have all of the government offices in one place, like Putrajaya in Malaysia, it would be easier to transact with the government here in New Clark City rather than traversing cities in Metro Manila with all that traffic," said Engr. Patrick Nicholas David, president of MTD Philippines.

 

MTD submitted to BCDA an unsolicited proposal to build the NGAC in a joint venture with BCDA based on the 2017 guidelines on the privatization and disposition of BCDA properties. Both entities subjected the project to a competitive challenge to private sector participants in accordance with BCDA guidelines, where MTD as original proponent, won.

 

New Clark City, an approximately 9,450-hectare flagship project by the BCDA, is envisioned to be the country’s first smart and green city with a mix of residential, commercial, agro-industrial, institutional and information technology developments. The venture aims to establish the NGAC as a modern, integrated and world-class community, accommodating the administrative offices of the national government, with support facilities, such as for housing, healthcare, education, public parks and museum, commercial centers, hotels and entertainment venues.

 

Under the joint venture, BCDA shall allow the use of its idle land for 25 years as site of the NGAC, but shall retain full ownership thereof, while MTD shall finance, design, build and develop the infrastructure, facilities and improvements comprising the NGAC.

 

The JV Partners shall then share in the profits from lease and purchase payments and from the operation and management of the NGAC in proportion to the monetary value of their respective interest or participation.

 

Ownership in the joint venture is: 10 percent by BCDA and 90 percent by MTD.  

 

Phase 1A has a total project cost of P13.16 million while Phase 1B shall be determined in accordance with BCDA rules.

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