Clark: A realization of a dream
It has become more of a showcase of what the Philippines can now offer to the global investment community.
Clark, which spans across the provinces of Tarlac and Pampanga, has been thrust into the spotlight in recent years, as the government pulls out all stops to rebrand, improve and further enhance this 33,000-ha expanse.
“In the next few years, Clark will transform completely because of the gamechanging projects under the Build, Build, Build program,” Bases Conversion and Development Authority president Vivencio B. Dizon was quoted as saying in the state agency’s publication.
“It is the dream of every Filipino to live and work in a city that provides the quality of life that we only see now abroad, that unfortunately we do not yet see in the Philippines. And this is what we want the Clark brand to be—a brand that gives the Filipinos, whether you’re rich or poor, young (or) old, the access to live the quality of life that we all deserve,” Dizon said.
There are many reasons why these investors are taking greater interest in Clark.
This area, for one, boasts of proximity to major thoroughfares such as North Luzon Expressway and Subic-Clark Tarlac Expressway, and international gateways, and has more than enough land available for further development. Provinces in Central Luzon also offer access to a highly skilled talent pool, making it easier for locators to fill in the jobs needed in their offices and facilities.
Add to that the proposed transport links including the Manila-Clark Highspeed Rail and Clark-Subic Cargo Rail, which will significantly reduce travel time between Clark and cities in Metro Manila.
Currently, Clark is divided into four districts namely the Clark Freeport Zone, Clark Global City, Clark International Airport, and New Clark City.
Clark Freeport Zone
The 26,000-ha Clark Freeport Zone is the main zone located within the cities of Angeles and Mabalacat. It is home not only to shops and restaurants, but also to logistics, tourism, agro-industrial and manufacturing companies.
BCDA subsidiary Clark Development Corp. reported last week that the export revenue of the Clark Freeport Zone reached $6.14 billion last year. This came from its 1,038 locator firms.
Clark Global City
Spanning across 177 ha inside the Clark Freeport Zone, Clark Global City is envisioned to become a mixed-use central business district. Owned and being developed by Global Gateway Development Corp., Clark Global City aims to host top-grade office buildings, upscale retail outlets, academic centers, sports centers, an urban park, an iconic tower, integrated resort and casino, and modern support services.
Leechiu Property Consultants earlier cited Clark Global City as the “most in-demand development outside Metro Manila.” Hence, it comes as no surprise that many companies, including property developers have started to flock to this thriving side of Central Luzon.
Case in point is DataLand Inc., which is looking to build an office building, dormitel, and hotel within a 2.3-ha property within Clark Global City.
“We believe that a partnership with GGDC is a strategic move and we look forward to building developments that help create a progressive environment in one of the largest office markets in the Philippines,” DataLand president Andrea T. Ulep said in a statement issued earlier this year.
DataLand is one of the family-owned companies comprising the DDTKI Group, which also includes DDT Konstract Inc., Whiteport Inc., Dataj Aquafarm Inc., Agriwaras Ventures Inc., and Andres P. Tamayo Sr. Foundation Inc. Its portfolio of residential condominiums include The Silk Residences in Manila and The Olive Place in Mandaluyong. It also has The Ivy Wall Hotel in Palawan.
Clark International Airport
This 2,367-ha Civil Aviation Complex, also located inside the freeport, covers an area of 2,367 ha with a 3,200-meter long runway. It hosts more than 600 flights a week, with Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Emirates, Qatar Airways, Asiana Airlines, Cathay Dragon, Jin Air, Jeju Air, T Way, and Tiger Air as among the airlines operating here.
New Clark City
All eyes are now on the 9,450-ha New Clark City, which is designed to become the archetype of a future-proof metropolis. Comprised of different districts, the New Clark City is targeted and designed to be smart, green, disaster-
resilient, sustainable, multifaceted and integrated. And upon its completion, it is expected to contribute a gross output of approximately P1.57 trillion per year to the national economy.
The creation of this modern metropolis was meant to decongest Metro Manila; to serve as back up plan for the government in case of disasters or natural calamities; and to further ease doing business here, and therefore help improve the country’s competitiveness as an investment destination.
Among the first structures that will soon rise here would be the 40-ha Phase 1A of the National Government Administrative Center, being developed by the MTD Philippines Inc.
Indeed, Clark, this early, is proving to live up to its tagline, “Clark: It works. Like a dream.” And hopefully, soon enough, we will realize and reap the benefits of this ambitious dream.
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