Government agencies to move help ‘pump-prime’ New Clark City
Duterte says Manila will become a ‘dead city’ within 25 years
Traffic during morning rush hour in the Makati district of Manila, the Philippines.
Photographer: Taylor Weidman/Bloomberg
Thousands of government workers will be moved from Manila to a new city that’s being built in a former U.S. military base, as President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration seeks to ease a traffic gridlock in the capital.
The government and private companies are investing more than 50 billion pesos ($1 billion) to build an administrative center in New Clark City. Within five years, the area is expected to have at least eight mid-rise government towers, 8,000 housing units and atrain connecting it to Manila, about 100 kilometers (62 miles) away.
Photographer: Albert Goquingco/Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA)
“The vision is to build a new thriving city outside metro Manila that’s well-planned, future proof,” said Vince Dizon, president of the state-run Bases Conversion Development Authority which is overseeing the 9,450 hectare development. “We will slowly move some government activities to Clark to pump-prime the city.”
The project is part of Duterte’s plan to decentralize state offices away from Manila’s gridlocked streets. The capital, home to 13 million people and accounting for about one-third of the nation’s economy, will become a “dead city” within 25 years, Duterte said in a speech last month supporting the development of the city, whose name is derived from the former Clark Air Force Base that was closed in 1991.
About 1 million people in the capital region work for the government, adding to traffic congestion that a 2014 Japan International Cooperation Agency study said costs the economy about 2.5 billion pesos a day in lost productivity. That’s expected to climb to 6 billion pesos a day by 2030.
Philippine drivers are the most dissatisfied in the world
Source: Waze Inc.
Index ranks driver experience on a scale of 1-10, with 1 the least satisfying. Factors include traffic density, road quality and infrastructure.