Phl, Singapore sign ‘smarter city’ deal for New Clark City

New Clark City (Photo from the Bases Conversion and Development Authority website)
New Clark City (Photo from the Bases Conversion and Development Authority website)

Thanks to President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.'s visit to Singapore, the 9,450-hectare New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac will transition into a "smarter city."

A smart city leverages technology to solve city problems and provide its residents with improved transportation and accessibility and better social services. A smarter city understands the critical role of redefining communications connections with the latest generation of broadband networks.

"With Singapore as a global frontrunner in smart city development, we at BCDA are very fortunate to have EnterpriseSG as our partner to facilitate knowledge exchange and link us with Singaporean firms with experience and expertise in the field. This MoU will surely be instrumental in achieving our goal of developing New Clark City into a smart, green, sustainable, and highly livable metropolis," Bases Conversion and Development Authority president and CEO Aileen Zosa said at the signing ceremony.

EnterpriseSG CEO Png Cheong Boon signed the partnership for the Singapore side. EnterpriseSG is a statutory board established under the Enterprise Singapore Act 2018 to champion Singapore enterprises by strengthening capabilities and accessing global opportunities. Marcos Jr. and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong witnessed the signing.

The MOU is geared toward creating a framework that would allow BCDA and EnterpriseSG to explore potential collaboration opportunities in the development of New Clark City, particularly in priority areas. These include affordable housing, estate management, transportation, solid waste management, waste-to-energy technology, smart cities, sustainability, green data centers, urban development, and people-centric programs.

Further, the MOU mandates both parties to partake in knowledge sharing and awareness-building activities to increase understanding of emerging technologies and solutions used in urban development, especially in response to the pandemic.

BCDA and EnterpriseSG are also set to collaborate to enable business matching and facilitate access for Singapore companies and relevant stakeholders interested in partnering in the development of New Clark City.

Part of the MOU is holding regular meetings to discuss project developments and areas of opportunity. Parties shall scope and facilitate a suitable partnership between the identified Singapore company and BCDA.

Before Marcos Jr.'s state visit to Singapore, officials from EnterpriseSG on 23 August conducted a site visit in New Clark City, including the 120-hectare Innovation Park developed by Filinvest Land Inc. in partnership with BCDA.

During the tour, Zosa briefed the visitors about the advantages of setting up shop in New Clark City, especially the opening of Clark Airport New Passenger Terminal Building, where Changi Airport is a joint venture partner of Luzon International Premier Airport Development Corporation, the operations and maintenance operator of Clark Airport Terminal.

The master plan of New Clark City was crafted by AECOM-Singapore, under the joint venture of BCDA and Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corporation for Transport and Urban Development.

Giant Singaporean real estate developer and consultant Surbana Jurong later joined the joint venture.

Meanwhile, in a show of trust and confidence, the BCDA urged about 50 potential foreign locators from Australia and New Zealand to explore the growth opportunities and set up business in New Clark City.

Former President and Pampanga 2nd District Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo expressed her support for strengthening the business relations between the three nations.

"My wish is to have closer ties with our southernmost neighbors, Australia and New Zealand. I hope our Australian and New Zealand guests will set business in the Subic-Clark corridor and neighboring sites," Arroyo said. (With reports from Mar Supnad)

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