BCDA, DOST vow cooperation for the completion of virology institute

Stressing the urgent need for a national virology center, the heads of Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) have agreed to work together for the smooth and immediate completion of the five-hectare Virology and Vaccine Institute of the Philippines (VIP) in New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac. In a recent meeting, BCDA President and Chief Executive Officer (PCEO) Aileen An. R. Zosa and DOST Secretary Renato U. Solidum, Jr. discussed details on the initial phases of the project, among which are the fencing and construction of an access road and dormitory. The Biosafety Level 3 and 4 laboratory building will be constructed in Phase 3. In contrast, Phase 2 will include the development of the main buildings and laboratories (BSL 1&2) as well as the utilities and support facilities of the site. “We welcome this development as we are equally excited to work with DOST for this project. Learning from the pandemic, I believe the VIP is a significant step towards advancing the country’s capabilities in managing viruses and viral diseases,” said PCEO Zosa. The DOST said that the proposed design and structure of buildings for the VIP will follow the guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO), and high containment laboratories will undergo international certification before they can commence operations. The facilities comprising the VIP complex include an administration building, lecture hall, good manufacturing product building, human and animal virology laboratory, plant virology laboratory, animal isolation, Biosafety Level 3 and 4 laboratory building, plant cultivation area, dormitory, power station, and a sewage treatment plant. BCDA allotted a five-hectare parcel of land at the National Government Administrative Center (NGAC) in New Clark City to house the VIP for a period of 50 years, which may be extended for another 25 years. The National Government has allocated funds to the Department of Public Works and Highways for the design, site development, and construction of the VIP buildings and facilities. On December 5, 2022, the House of Representatives passed on the third and final reading of House Bill No. 6452, the consolidation of 31 bills that seek for the establishment of a virology institute. The creation of the Virology and Vaccine Institute of the Philippines is one of the priority projects of President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., mentioned during his first State of the Nation Address. Once completed, it will become an attached agency under the DOST.

January 10, 2023

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New Clark City Central Park awarded in SG’s landscape architecture awards

Recognized for its sustainable and inclusive design, the proposed 44.8-hectare New Clark City Central Park has recently bagged the SEMEC Gold Award for the Analysis and Planning Category of the 2022 Singapore Landscape Architecture Awards. The award was presented to global architectural firm Broadway Malyan Asia Pte. Ltd., who was tapped by the United Kingdom Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (UK FCDO) to design the park as part of its assistance to the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) under the Global Future Cities Programme (GFCP). Judges commended New Clark City Central Park for its “exciting design with the potential to integrate the various stakeholding communities.” They also gave the project credits for the efforts taken in carrying out extensive workshops and engagements with the community. “We are very honored to have received this award for the Central Park at New Clark City, particularly as it is judged by professionals, academics and experts in their field. The final design for the park is the result of a lot of hard work and ideas from a team based in the Philippines, Singapore and UK, and included extensive consultation and workshops,” said Broadway Malyan Main Board Director Ed Baker. “With the FCDO and BCDA as inspirational and ambitious clients, the team wanted to deliver a special park that was appropriate to New Clark City as a green and inclusive metropolis and a place unique to the local culture. We are very proud of the results of the final design and this award is a recognition of that,” he added. British Deputy Ambassador to the Philippines Alistair White also welcomed the recognition given by the award-giving body for the New Clark City Central Park project. “We are very proud of the recognition given to the Global Future Cities New Clark City Programme by the Singapore Institute of Landscape Architects for the design of the New Clark City Central Park. The award is a testament to the UK’s commitment to supporting sustainable and inclusive development. We will continue to work in the Philippines to bring in the best of UK expertise to support ongoing and future infrastructure projects,” he said. BCDA President and Chief Executive Officer Aileen R. Zosa also said, “this recognition from the Singapore Landscape Architecture Awards just shows that we are in the right direction towards the development of a sustainable and green metropolis that Filipinos can be proud of. We at the BCDA congratulate our partners in UK FCDO and Broadway Malyan for this feat. We thank them for going above and beyond at their job to help us achieve our mission.” New Clark City, the Philippines’ first smart, resilient and green metropolis is one of the 19 beneficiary-cities of the GFCP, in line with the UK’s thrust to promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth and urban resilience across the globe. UK FCDO’s support to New Clark City included the development of an open space strategy, which features a 44.8-hectare public park located at the heart of the metropolis. The Central Park is envisioned to become one of the country’s largest urban parks. It also delivered the masterplan for a 33.89-hectare affordable housing project in New Clark City, as well as a framework for the creation of a Sustainability Unit in BCDA. The Singapore Landscape Architecture Awards is a biennial event that honors and sets new benchmarks in design and best practices of landscape architecture. It celebrates the works of landscape architecture firms recognized in Singapore.

January 3, 2023

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