SANDTRAP: Central Luzon @ 2030

Posted 5 months ago

I think I will not live up to 2030 to witness the full fruits of the ambitious infrastructure projects that the present administration of the former city mayor of Davao envision to start up under the Duterteconomics “ build, build, build” goals.

SANDTRAP: Central Luzon @ 2030

Funding of these flagship public works program will come from foreign lenders such as Japan and China, after the economic managers of DU30 dropped the PNoy’s PPP formula which enlisted private sector participations and management expertise. What I am talking are the multi-billion projects sired by Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), the government owned agency tasked to develop and ensure the profitable activities of former US and local military facilities.

BCDA unknown to the general public is now headed by political associates of DFA Secretary Allan Peter Cayetano, Digong vice presidential running mate and now the chieftain of the foreign affairs office, they are Vivencio Dizon, president and Greg Garcia, as chairman of the board. Garcia took charge of the advertising and public relations support to the Duterte-Cayetano tandem during the May 2016 election. Moreover, Garcia’s wife was the partner of Allan’s mother in a private school at BF Homes Paranaque.

While both Garcia and Dizon are professionally capable, I hope they do fall to the same alleged extra income from feasibility study contract that the former agency president was notorious. The three major development and economic projects that will be undertaken under the build build and build scheme are the construction of P300 billion Manila to Clark Railway aimed to provide easy travel to passengers using the Clark International Airport; the New Clark City, billed as the next site for government center , which offers 9,500 hectares of space to accommodate the anticipated exodus of urban dwellers of Metro Manila by the year 2020.

Moreover BCDA also eye the building of Clark-Subic Cargo Train Service to spur further manufacturing and export growth between the two former US military bases fully utilizing the Clark Airport and the Subic seaport. The Cargo trail system to be built by China will cost P32.5 billion and expected to be completed in two years using the road right of way of the Subic-Clark -Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX).

Former BCDA and SBMA chairman Felicito C. Payumo has earlier expressed his misgiven on the Cargo train service which is still unnecessary at this time due to limited volume, but his position was contested by SBMA administrator Amy Eisma who told this corner that she fully support the project. “When will the government act when it’s too late? Better this early although we do not have the volume yet. It’s still cheaper to undertake the project. Moreover, SBMA will share any centavo for the project because it is one of the major flagship of the Duterte government,” Eisma pointed out

As I mentioned at the start of this piece, I foresee that the full completion of the series of project and economic development plans to fuel the growth and expansion of Central Luzon to be bestowed as the next grand urban destination in line with the campaign to help in decongesting the national capital region.

The government of Pampanga in close collaboration between Gov. Lilia Pineda and former President Gloria M. Arroyo and incumbent 2nd district Representative retained the service of urban planner Felino Palafox to adopt a master plan for Pampanga and its environs like Subic and Clark to line-up activities to be offered to locators looking at new area to transfer their business and workers. The completed master plan done in four phases covering the four districts of the province, East, South, West and North sides, identifying business activities, transport, housing sites and schools.

Subic town pushes for its cityhood

A collateral beneficiary of the Central Luzon growth triangle is the fishing town of Subic, the mother cell of Olongapo City , which was eclipse when the former US Naval reservation converted into another municipality on December 7, 1959 and eventually into a highly urbanized community. But after living the shadow of its former barrio, Subic now, the home to the country’s biggest shipbuilding site and 4th world largest shipbuilder is gearing to become a metropolis , with increased population and income.

Last termer mayor Jay Khonghun, said the bill elevating the town is just awaiting for the completion of LGU requirements such as putting up a 50-bed hospital. In a recent visit to him, we learned that existing municipal hall will converted into the required medical facilities while the new government center will moved to a new site with ample parking and open spaces.

Meanwhile, Mayor Khonghun inform us that in spite of political pressures from people with strong connection to the provincial capitol , he will not allow “jade mining” in one of the seaside village in Subic He said he and the town council will not be pressured by name dropping and willing to face legal action against the mining disapproval.


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