New Clark City promotes inclusive development
Capas Mayor Reynaldo Catacutan opens a press conference on the New Clark City development with BCDA and leaders of Indigenous Peoples' groups
The construction of New Clark City not only pushes regional growth, but also promotes inclusive development as the infrastructure project creates opportunities for indigenous peoples (IPs), residents, and farmers.
Located within the Clark Special Economic Zone, New Clark City is government land owned by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA). There are no declared ancestral domains or Certificates of Ancestral Domain Titles (CADT) in the area.
“Ang dine-develop ngayon ay ang National Government Administrative Center na kung saan, ni isang katutubo ay walang naapektuhan,” Capas Mayor Reynaldo Catacutan said in an interview. “Walang ancestral domain doon sa New Clark City,” he stressed.
BCDA is also building access roads to and from New Clark City that will provide access and connectivity to everyone, especially IPs, residents, and farmers for their livelihood. The roads will benefit all stakeholders as they gain access to more economic opportunities and social services.
“Makikinabang ang ating mga kababayan kasi magiging daan ito kung saan nila pwede i-transport yung kanilang goods or services papunta sa bayan at papunta sa kanilang kanayunan,” Engr. Joshua Bingcang, BCDA Senior Vice President for Business Development and Operations, said in a separate interview.
In a previous statement, BCDA said it holds regular dialogues with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) and the communities to assure that they are part of the New Clark City development.
“Ayaw naming mapag-iwanan sila sa development. Ang gusto namin talaga ay ito ay socially-inclusive yung development; walang mapag-iiwanan,” said Bingcang.
Out of the 9,450 hectares, only 3,500 hectares are buildable, leaving 6,000 hectares or 60% of green and open spaces for upland farming and forest reserves.
Financial assistance packages amounting to Php300,000 per hectare (or Php30.00/sq.m.) were made available, the highest compensation package provided by government, to project-affected people. Relocations sites within New Clark City were also provided for those whose residential structures were affected.
BCDA also said that it worked with credible institutions, such as the University of the Philippines and the Asian Development Bank, to master-plan to ensure the sustainability and inclusivity of New Clark City.
The development of the 1.4-kilometer River Park Corridor follows the natural flow of the Cutcut river as advised by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to protect and preserve the river.
The ADB is also conducting a Biodiversity Assessment and Hydrology Study to conserve the flora and fauna and ensure the sustainability of water in New Clark City.
According to BCDA, the University of the Philippines Training Center for Applied Geodesy and Photogrammetry (UP-TCAGP) also did the aerial mapping for New Clark City to ensure that the masterplan is aligned with the natural contours and usage of the land, allowing maximum benefits for the government and all stakeholders.