Top Italian business groups urged to invest in Clark developments

Top Italian Business Groups Urged To Invest In Clark Developments

A delegation from the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) has urged two of Italy’s top business associations, Confindustria and The European House Ambrosetti, to set their sights on New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac  as well as its other Clark developments as emerging investment destinations for those looking to set up or expand their business in the Philippines.

Confindustria is Italy’s main association representing manufacturing and service companies, with a voluntary membership of over 150,000 firms. The European House Ambrosetti, meanwhile, is a leading Italian management consulting firm supported by a series of strategic alliances and an external network of worldwide renowned advisors.

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The series of business-to-business meetings were held in October 2023 during a BCDA-led outbound investment promotion mission in Rome, Italy. The BCDA delegation, led by Director Atty. Larry Paredes, also paid a courtesy visit to Philippine Ambassador to Italy H.E. Nathaniel G. Imperial, who declared his commitment to pitch the Philippines as an ideal investment hub for Italian businesspeople and support the BCDA in promoting its development projects.

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In support of this vision, BCDA Vice President for Public Affairs Leilani Barlongay-Macasaet laid out the organization’s comprehensive plans for New Clark City, Clark Freeport Zone, and Clark International Airport to Italian investors and financial institutions in Rome, where she highlighted the potential for collaboration in the public-private partnerships in the organization’s development projects in Clark.

“BCDA fully supports the Philippine Embassy in its bid to pitch the Philippines as an investment destination for Italian businesses. Particularly, BCDA’s flagship project, New Clark City, offers investment opportunities in manufacturing, logistics, agri-industrial, property development, and renewable energy, among others,” said Ms. Barlongay-Macasaet.

Among the Clark development projects pitched were the 100-hectare mixed-use Clark Central Business District in Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga, 35-hectare affordable residential complex in New Clark City in Tarlac, 22-hectare Clark International Convention and Exhibition Complex, New Clark City Common ICT Infrastructure, and data center colocation facility in New Clark City, among others.

On the sidelines of the B2B meetings, the BCDA delegation also toured Rome’s largest sports facility, Stadio Olimpico, to study its best practices in terms of operations and management, which the organization can implement in New Clark City Athletics Stadium and other sports facilities. 

BCDA seeks JV partner for New Clark City ICT infra

The Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) is looking for a joint venture (JV) partner for the commercialization of information and communications technology (ICT) facilities in New Clark City, which is vital in achieving the new metropolis’ vision of becoming the country’s first smart urban development. 

The BCDA is inviting prospective bidders to submit pre-qualification requirements and bid for
the disposition of its passive ICT Infrastructure.The disposition will be undertaken through a JV that will handle the commercialization and, as necessary, the expansion, repair, and maintenance, of passive ICT infrastructure in New Clark City with an estimated project cost of Php2.53 billion.

Given that the services involved in the commercialization of passive ICT infrastructure are not typically provided by the public sector, the BCDA is looking for a JV partner that has expertise in this field.

“In pursuit of its goal of transforming New Clark City into an intelligent, sustainable, and future-proof city, BCDA is now moving forward with the development of ICT infrastructure in the area. By taking this crucial first step, we will not only address the needs of our locators, but also set up the foundation for smart city development and e-governance in New Clark City,” said BCDA President and Chief Executive Officer (PCEO) Engr. Joshua M. Bingcang.

“We recognize this as a massive undertaking, and we hope that the private sector can provide us with their expertise and capabilities in this field,” he added.

Conceptualized under an “Open Access Fiber” model, the project will form the foundation for robust fiber infrastructure and competitive retail services in New Clark City. This will allow telecommunication companies and data transmission providers to connect and service residences, offices, institutions, and data centers in the new metropolis.

The Open Access Fiber model will also serve as an anchor for smart city development and e-government solutions, which are highly dependent on resilient fiber-grade connectivity and data centers.

Under the terms and conditions of the project, the means of BCDA’s disposition will be through the establishment of a JV company that shall be tasked to commercialize, and as necessary, expand the passive ICT infrastructure, such as conduits, fiber optic cables, chambers, colocation facilities, and others. The JV shall also establish a “meet-me room” or neutral hosting site through which active service providers can patch into the network. 

Moreover, the JV shall be in charge of maintaining and repairing said infrastructure and hosting site, and leasing out dark fiber on a wholesale basis to internet service providers, mobile network operators, data centers, and independent tower companies, among others.

JV selection process

The project shall be awarded through competitive public bidding in accordance with the BCDA Joint Venture Guidelines and other applicable laws, rules, and regulations. BCDA formed a Joint Venture Selection Committee (JVSC) to oversee the bidding process.

The bidding shall follow a two-stage process. In the first stage, prospective bidders shall undergo a pre-qualification process based on their legal, technical, and financial capability requirements. The second stage involves the submission and evaluation of technical and financial bids from the shortlisted bidders. 

Interested parties may participate in the bidding process by submitting a letter of intent prior to purchasing the Instructions to Private Sector Participants (IPSP) Volume 1- Forms and Annexures starting November 6, 2023 for a non-refundable fee of Php250,000. Meanwhile, IPSP Volume 1- Eligibility Documents is available for free, downloadable from the BCDA website.

A pre-qualification conference is scheduled on November 14, 2023, 2:00 pm at the Asian Development Bank Headquarters, 6 ADB Avenue, Mandaluyong City. Deadline of submission of eligibility requirements is on December 18, 2023, 12:00 pm, at the BCDA Office, 2/F Bonifacio Technology Center, 31st Street cor. 2nd Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

For more information, interested candidates may contact the BCDA JVCS Secretariat at or +632 8575-1765.

Clark hailed as ‘City of Legacy’ in Australian summit

The Clark Freeport and Special Economic Zone in Central Luzon has been touted as one of the world’s “Cities of Legacy” during a summit in Brisbane, Australia, for its sustainable, future-ready, and people-centered design. 

Speaking at the 2023 Asia Pacific Cities Summit (APCS) and Mayors’ Forum last October 13, Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) President and Chief Executive Officer (PCEO) Engr. Joshua M. Bingcang told over 1,500 city leaders, policymakers, and investors about Clark’s business case, and why it is worthy of being called the Philippines’ City of Legacy.

Clark, according to PCEO Bingcang, is being built as the Philippines’ next economic center, with the purpose of addressing the growing urban problems in Metro Manila and improving the quality of life of Filipinos.

“A 320-square kilometer disaster-resilient and inclusive development located 90 kilometers north of Manila, Clark is positioned to be the Philippines’ premier modern metropolis and gateway, with a carefully thought people-centered master development plan,” he said. 

The whole of Clark encompasses the provinces of Pampanga and Tarlac—covering the 21-square kilometer mixed-use area in the Clark Freeport Zone, the 23-square kilometer Clark Civil Aviation Complex, the 94.5-square kilometer New Clark City, and a 180-square kilometer sub-zone. 

PCEO Bingcang said Clark was built from scratch, designed to give people a well-balanced lifestyle with different developments that allow businesses to thrive, families to live, and residents to grow. 

Clark also enjoys strategic location and seamless connectivity, being near the Clark International Airport and the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway. It has its own extensive road network, and will soon be accessible via the North-South Commuter Railway. 

Today, Clark is emerging as one of the preferred locations of government and private institutions.

“Clark is not just a city, but a symbol of our nation’s aspirations—a gateway to a brighter, sustainable, and more connected Philippines,” PCEO Bingcang said. 

The BCDA chief, however, emphasizes that there are still boundless opportunities for growth and development in Clark. Among the projects in the BCDA pipeline are the one-square kilometer Clark Central Business District, the 0.22-square kilometer Clark International Convention Center, affordable housing facilities, transit-oriented developments, and digital infrastructure projects. 

With the theme “Shaping Cities for our Future,” this year’s edition of the APCS is one of the largest and most diverse assemblies of global think tanks and key influencers in the region. It serves as a platform where businesses, industries and cities gather together, enabling them to build relationships and effectively contribute to the success and sustainability of cities into the future.

In line with this, the BCDA also had business-to-business meetings with industry leaders in the fields of transportation, sustainable development, tourism, and real estate, among others.

BCDA officials also took this opportunity to learn from the Australian experts on how to manage sports facilities. Brisbane, Australia is slated to be the host of the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Earlier, Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner Christopher Lim expressed confidence in the Philippines’ economic growth prospects, and signaled Australia’s intent to further strengthen its trade, economic, and education ties with the Philippines. 

He said there had been an increase in the number of Australian companies coming into the Philippines, particularly those in the agrifood, education, mining, technology, and cybersecurity business. 

BCDA inks deal with Zenmov, MC Metro for smart transport system in Clark dev’ts

The Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) signed a memorandum of agreement with Japan-based Zenmov, Inc. and Philippine-based MC Metro Transport Operation, Inc. for a demonstration of an energy-efficient and smart public transportation system that will run within New Clark City, Capas, Tarlac and the rest of Clark Special Economic Zone.

Under this two-year demonstration project, a new public transportation system called Primary Rapid Transit, a “last mile” service, will run in select routes in New Clark City, Clark Freeport Zone, and Clark Civil Aviation Complex using Smart Mobility Operation Cloud (SMOC). This application will enable Japan-based information technology (IT) solutions provider Zenmov to measure and verify the effectiveness of the public transport service system, with an aim to maximize operational availability while keeping the number of vehicles at a minimum by managing a lean dispatching system based on travel demand data.

“Smart mobility plays an important role in our commitment to transforming our developments into green, sustainable, and inclusive cities. Learning from global experts in smart city development, like our partners from Japan, we can integrate smart and innovative technologies in our developments, like those of Zenmov, which in the long run will improve the quality of life of the people residing and working in BCDA developments,” said BCDA President and Chief Executive Officer Engr. Joshua M. Bingcang.

This MOA signing comes on the heels of the memorandum of understanding signed between BCDA and Japan’s national research and development agency, New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), on January 30, 2023 for a demonstration project on smart mobility technologies to be implemented in New Clark City and its environs. NEDO then appointed Zenmov to implement the smart mobility demonstration program.

To complement the use of SMOC application, Zenmov and MC Metro will likewise deploy low-carbon electric vehicles and bikes as well as install smart poles, drones, and charging stations, among others, for real time data collection and dissemination on traffic management.

At the end of the demonstration project, Zenmov will provide BCDA a final report containing its findings, evaluation, and recommendations, which will include traffic demand analysis, operation feasibility of smart mobility system, quantitative analysis of reduction in greenhouse emissions, among others.

Aside from exploring smart mobility solutions, BCDA and its public and private partners have ushered in significant green measures in its developments, such as maximizing renewable energy sources, promoting active mobility, conserving biodiversity, and setting aside 60 percent of the land area for parks, green spaces and water bodies. These initiatives are all in line with the BCDA’s commitment to sustainable, smart, and green developments.

BCDA eyes low-carbon district cooling technology for New Clark City

The Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) has partnered with global leaders United District Energy International L.L.C. (UDEI) and Marubeni Corporation (Marubeni) to explore low-carbon district cooling technologies that will make energy consumption in New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac greener and more efficient.
During its business mission in Tokyo in September, BCDA signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Qatar-based UDEI and Japan-based Marubeni for the conduct of a technical and commercial feasibility study that will explore the viability of a district cooling technology for New Clark City. This sustainability initiative aims to help address high energy consumption during the dry season, which is associated with searing temperatures especially in Central Luzon.
“To help reduce energy consumption and make use of greener energy sources, BCDA has tapped the expertise of UDEI, a regional leader in low-carbon district cooling technologies, and Marubeni, our reliable Japanese partner in power distribution in New Clark City, to explore low-carbon cooling solutions in our development. A district cooling system in this sustainable metropolis will enable us to provide the most environmentally-friendly and cost-efficient solution to future residents and locators,” said BCDA President and Chief Executive Officer Engr. Joshua M. Bingcang.
District cooling systems integrate highly-efficient centralized chillers, thermal energy storage tanks, and advanced control systems as a greener and smarter alternative to decentralized air conditioners. 

Under the one-year MOU, BCDA, Marubeni and UDEI have agreed to discuss, share knowledge, and explore potential opportunities for collaboration leading to the preparation of conceptual and technical reports. 
“We at UDEI are dedicated to pushing the boundaries of innovation and excellence in our partnership with BCDA and Marubeni for the exploration of low-carbon district cooling technologies in New Clark City, Philippines. This marks a significant milestone in our journey. Together with our esteemed partners, we are committed to deliver cutting-edge solutions that not only redefine industries but also empower individuals and businesses to thrive in an ever-evolving world,” said UDEI Director Yasser Al Jaidah.

“We envision a future where our technology, in collaboration with BCDA and Marubeni, continues to pave the way for positive change, transforming challenges into opportunities and inspiring progress for generations to come. Furthermore, we proudly stand as staunch supporters of the global effort to combat climate change, recognizing the urgent need for sustainable solutions that safeguard our planet for future generations. Our commitment to BCDA’s New Clark City underscores our dedication to fostering lasting relationships and making a meaningful impact on the community and economy,” Mr. Al Jaidah added.

By utilizing these systems in New Clark City, electricity consumption by future residents and locators will be cut by as much as 50%, carbon dioxide emissions and pollution will be reduced, air quality and temperature control will be improved, and utilization of available space will be more efficient.
“Marubeni formulated its long-term vision for climate change in March 2021 and has positioned a green strategy as one of its basic policies for enhancing corporate value in its mid-term management strategy GC2024. Marubeni envisions the incorporation of district cooling technologies to make New Clark City as the best sustainable, smart, and green city in Southeast Asia. Through this project, we look forward to strengthening our partnership with UDEI, known for its extensive experience. Marubeni is fully committed to providing maximum support to help BCDA make its vision for New Clark City a reality,” said Tai Miura, deputy general manager of Overseas Power Department of Marubeni.

Other than exploring district cooling solutions, BCDA and its public and private partners have ushered in significant green measures in New Clark City, such as maximizing renewable energy sources, promoting active mobility, conserving biodiversity, and setting aside 60 percent of the land area for parks, green spaces and water bodies. These initiatives are all in line with the BCDA’s commitment to a sustainable, smart, and green metropolis.

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE: 1st nat’l freediving competition takes off in New Clark City

Photo caption: Department of Tourism Region 3 Director Richard G. Daenos, Association Internationale pour le Développement de l’Apnee (AIDA) Philippines President Ramar A. Acuna, Bases Conversion and Development Authority Officer-in-Charge for Investment Promotions and Marketing Michelle San Juan-De Vera, and freediving athlete Belle Brillantes during the opening ceremony of the 1st AIDA Philippines National Freediving Pool Championship. BCDA photo

The New Clark City Aquatics Center in Capas, Tarlac is serving as the stage for the country’s first-ever national level freediving competition from September 29 to October 1, 2023.

Association Internationale pour le Développement de l’Apnee (AIDA) Philippines, the national governing body for freediving, has partnered with the the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) and Department of Tourism (DOT) Region 3 to host the AIDA Philippines National Freediving Pool Championship in the world-class facility.

As the first competition of its kind held at a national scale, the event aims to raise the profile of competitive freediving in the country, and present an opportunity for athletes to showcase their skills on a larger stage.

“AIDA Philippines has a clear objective to elevate the landscape of freediving competitions in the Philippines and take full advantage of the diverse freediving spots available, be it in open water or pool settings. We believe that this goal can only be achieved through a collaborative effort involving the freediving community, government agencies, and the private sector,” AIDA Philippines President Ramar A. Acuna said. 

Over 30 competitive freedivers from here and abroad will be participating in the competition, driven by their hopes of becoming a national freediving champion and national record holder in four freediving disciplines, namely, static apnea, dynamic apnea with bi-fins, dynamic apnea with monofin, and dynamic apnea without fins.

This landmark event is part of DOT Region 3’s “Travel Breathe Dive” Program, which aims to promote Central Luzon as a choice destination for diving professionals and enthusiasts.

“The Travel Breathe Dive Program aims to equally promote scuba and freediving in the region through the unique combination of  diving and wellness as part of its holistic, sustainable and inclusive tourism product offerings,” DOT Region 3 Director Richard G. Daenos said. 

With the Aquatics Center hosting the national freediving championships, BCDA Officer-in-Charge for Investment Promotions and Marketing Michelle San Juan-De Vera believes that New Clark City is well-positioned to become one of the freediving spots that can be promoted under the DOT campaign. 

“With this competition, New Clark City’s world-class Aquatics Center opens its doors to more water sports aside from the events it usually hosts, such as swimming and diving. This is also a chance to showcase New Clark City’s world-class sports complex to the freediving community and help position the Aquatics Center as one of the pool freediving hubs in the country,” De Vera said. 

The partnership between BCDA, DOT Region 3, AIDA Philippines and various freediving schools started in March this year, with AIDA Philippines and the freediving schools conducting a freediving clinic for BCDA and DOT 3 personnel at the Aquatics Center. 

As part of its plans, AIDA Philippines is also actively pursuing the opportunity to host the 31st World Pool Championship in New Clark City. 

“If successful, hosting this event would not only offer our local freediving athletes the chance to compete on home turf but also expose our judges and safety divers to the intricacies and demands of a high-level international competition,” Acuna said.

Photo caption: Philippine Commission on Sports Scuba Diving Executive Director Marco Angelo Ancheta, BCDA Officer-in-Charge for Investment Promotions and Marketing Michelle San Juan- De Vera, and DOT 3 Regional Director Richard G. Daenos present medals to the Filipino freediving athletes who brought pride to the country during the 30th AIDA World Championship in Jeju, South Korea last June. BCDA photo