Typhoon Ursula and the recent series of earthquakes bring haunting premonitions. What if Metro Manila is badly hit? Where to go?
Manila is one of Asia’s most congested cities. This makes it hard for workers to get to jobs and businesses to reach customers. So, Manila is missing out on the benefits urbanization can bring. Not to mention floods and earthquakes that are constant threats to people and infrastructure.
Then, north of Manila the solution arrives.
100 kilometers away, a former military base is being transformed into a smart, efficient, and climate-resilient city.
New Clark City will provide a modern, livable space for more than one million people, easing pressure on Manila, according to the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA).
“There really needs to be a redirection in how we plan and we develop these cities. The main mandate of BCDA was really to try and convert the former US military bases into new centers of growth. And in particular, Clark was really envisioned to become a new city, a major metropolis of the country,” BCDA President Vince Dizon said.
Developed under a public-private partnership (PPP) program, the New Clark City will span nearly 10,000 hectares. It is designed to be the first climate-resilient city in the Philippines.
“With the help of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), [which] was critical especially in the first phase of the New Clark City, we can really build a green-filled metropolis that is well-planned and that will be truly green, smart, and disaster-resilient but at the same time very inclusive. And it was done in such transparency and openness that it’s really a model PPP,” Dizon said.
Transaction advisory services provided by ADB’s Office of the Public-Private Partnership (OPPP) helped deliver critical infrastructure.
“BCDA asked us to review the New Clark City masterplan. The first unsolicited proposal was to build this National Government Administrative Center (NGAC) Subsequently, the government decided to bid for the SEA Games, so they added the sports facilities. After that we helped BCDA with the procurement of water and wastewater PPP and the power distribution PPP,” Catherine Lopez Fong, senior public-private partnership officer of ADB, said.
The smart city features and technology are expected to attract both investors and residents. The NGAC will serve as a recovery zone if a natural disaster hits Manila.
“Now, we are helping BCDA work on a mass transportation system and the PPP for information and communications technology,” Fong said.
New Clark City is one of the most important large-scale infrastructure projects in the Philippines’ recent history. With extensive experience in PPPs, ADB can help countries in Asia to use this financing method to build the infrastructure they need.
“The infrastructure needs of Asia and the Pacific amount to over $1.7 million dollars. The government can only bridge 40% of the gap amount and the other 60% must come from the private sector,” Yoji Morishita, head of ADB’s OPPP said.
Morishita said OPPP’s main function is advisory service not lending. It focuses on providing transactional advisory and project preparation to support commercially viable PPP projects.
To know more about the New Clark City, watch the video through this link: https://www.adb.org/ news/videos/how-public- private-partnership-building- new-smart-city-philippines