Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III has underscored the key role of Japan in the development of New Clark City (NCC) in Central Luzon as a new metropolis that is prepared for the future and “driven by technology and the most forward-looking industries.”
New Clark City, which is the centerpiece of the ambitious “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program of the Duterte administration, can be made a reality and emerge even better than what the government has envisioned through the cooperation between Filipino and Japanese enterprises, Dominguez said.
“The new city we are building here will be the icon for the dynamic urban centers that we intend to nurture as we march confidently towards the future. This new city will foster innovation. It will showcase our capability to harness new technologies to build vibrant and sustainable communities. It will demonstrate the great progress that international partnerships make possible,” said Dominguez at the opening of the Philippines-Japan Seminar on NCC, which was held last Wednesday (Nov. 21) at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City.
The seminar dubbed “New Clark City With Japan,” was expected to encourage new Philippine and Japanese business partnerships and introduce smart city solutions in developing NCC.
It was organized by the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) in partnership with the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), which is overseeing NCC’s development.
According to Dominguez, New Clark City and the rest of the flagship projects under the “Build, Build, Build” program have been made possible by a “fortuitous combination of factors.”
These factors, he said, include a decisive political leadership and a strong initiative to build a competent bureaucracy capable of executing large visions, the adequate fiscal space generated as a result of years of tough reforms, the continuing effort to reform the country’s revenue systems, “and the generous support of our international friends and development partners, notably the Japanese people.”
“The economic strategy we pursue seeks to achieve rapid, investments-led growth that raises productivity across the board throughout the archipelago. This is the way to achieve truly inclusive growth and dramatically bring down poverty rates among our people,” Dominguez said.
“I am sure expectations are high, especially among our international partners. Let me take this opportunity to assure all of you that we have both the will and the competence to create a dynamic economy in the medium term. The Philippines will continue its emergence as a growth leader and a center for innovation in the region,” he added.
During the event, Dominguez thanked JETRO and BCDA for organizing the seminar and bringing together experts who shared what they envision for NCC.
“I look forward to the smart city solutions we will be acquainted with today as well as the business partnerships we have encouraged between Japanese and Filipino companies,” Dominguez said. “The New Clark City we imagine is not just any other township. This will be a city prepared for the future, a community driven by technology and the most forward-looking industries.”
Alongside the development of NCC are the construction of railways going to Subic and to Manila and the expansion of the Clark International Airport (CIA), which will get a new world-class terminal building to accommodate a projected eight million passengers per year to help relieve the congestion at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Parañaque City.
NCC, which will showcase the Duterte administration’s economic strategy of focusing on infrastructure development to sustain growth, is envisioned to be a hub of agro-industrial activities, home to cutting-edge technology and logistics companies, and host to well-equipped backup government centers and world-class sports facilities.