The government is eyeing to build the country's premier research institute in the field of virology at New Clark City by 2021, the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) said.
According to BCDA President and CEO Vince Dizon, also the Presidential Adviser for Flagship Programs and Projects, the Virology Science and Technology Institute of the Philippines (VIP) proposed by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has been included in the administration's list of infrastructure flagship projects (IFPs).
"The Virology Science and Technology Institute of the Philippines, which will be prioritizing research on infectious diseases will be hosted by New Clark City, and this was just recently approved by the Economic Development Cluster," Dizon said.
The approval of the virology institute as one of the IFPs is part of the government’s response in including new projects that will address the emerging needs brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
New Clark City was designed to be the country’s first smart, green, sustainable and resilient metropolis. The project’s Phase 1A was completed last year for the hosting of the 30th South East Asian Games.
“Resiliency was the major characteristic that we wanted for New Clark City to have. The pandemic has highlighted that [with] the use of facilities over the past couple of months in the major response efforts,” Dizon said.
Dizon noted that New Clark City is presently being used as a quarantine facility for COVID-positive patients, as well as suspect and probable individuals, in coordination with local government units.