Palafox bares master plan for Clark Freeport Zone

CLARK FREEPORT ZONE – A state-of-the-art city will rise north of Clark Freeport Zone, and the whole community is now working for its blueprint.

Such was the scene when Arch. Felino “Jun” Palafox, Jr. held his consultation with the members of Clark community on July 27, 2017 at the Global Gateway Logistics City in this freeport zone. Palafox, who has been working on urban planning for decades, will do the comprehensive master plan for the New Clark City.

“We’re glad we are doing it again for Clark,” said Palafox in his opening remarks. Palafox did the plan for the Clark Freeport Zone decades ago when the former American airbase was transformed into an economic hub. His architecture firm, Palafox Associates, has more than 1,200 projects in the Philippines.

New Clark City is a modern urban center to rise north of Clark. It will cover an area of 9,450 hectares, with boundaries set on Pampanga and Tarlac. Both the national government and the Clark Development Corporation (CDC) claim that New Clark City is a key infrastructure project under the Duterte Administration.

“(New Clark City is) in accordance with the ‘Build, Build, Build’ battlecry of the current administration, whose goal is to usher the golden age of infrastructure here in the Philippines,” said Arch. Tarcisius Tiotuyco from CDC’s corporate planning division.

More than the upsurge of infrastructure projects, the national government’s aim for creating a new city in Clark is to have an alternative for Manila. New Clark City will follow urban planning standards so as not to replicate the transportation and zoning problems of Manila.

“(The New Clark City answers the),dual problem of decongesting Metro Manila and accelerating growth in regions around Clark,” Tiotuyco said.

A City Built by Everyone

Palafox Associates organized the consultation on July 27 to gather feedbacks from the members of Clark community.

Those who attended the consultation came from various sectors like education, health, government, and business. Palafox associates would consider their feedbacks, and would be compared to those of other communities.

The business sector in Clark, especially foreign investors, welcomed the possibility of having a new urban center in Luzon.

“Today, everything’s beginning to come full circle in terms of the government’s initiative to prioritize Clark,” said Michael Russell, president of Global Gateway Logistics City. Like the rest of Clark’s business community, Russell is hopeful that the New Clark City will boost the country’s economic status.

Palafox’s intention for the New Clark City is not simply to be a hub for business. He stressed that the New Clark City will be a greener place to live, so as to be resilient against all sorts of natural calamities.

“We all like to live in environment-friendly cities and communities,” said Palafox at the closing of his consultation.

The master plan will be ready by January 2018. Until then, Palafox Associates and CDC will gather all helpful feedbacks for the creation of this city.

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About Arli Joshua Atienza

Arli Joshua Atienza is a native of Bataan, an English teacher by profession, and a passionate member of Clark’s Jewish community. He began his career in journalism since his high school days. It culminated when he joined his college’s radio station and news publication. Now, he works as a journalist at KLIPP TV.