CLARK FREEPORT, Pampanga -- A top executive of infrastructure developer, MTD Philippines Inc., has announced that the PHP120-billion New Clark City Phase 1A in Capas, Tarlac will be completed by October 15, in time for the country’s hosting of this year's Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games).

MTD Philippines Inc. president Patrick Nicholas David said on Friday the construction of the National Government Administrative Center (NGAC) Phase 1A already reached its 55-percent completion mark.

"By October 15, we will finish both sports and non-sports facilities," he said in a media interview.
David said five buildings of “The Residences” and two buildings of the “Athletes Village” will be completed halfway within the year.

“The Residences” is a 500-unit housing project to benefit thousands of government workers in New Clark City while the “Athletes Village” is part of the world-class sports facilities to be used for the Philippines' hosting of the 30th SEA Games.

"NGAC shall provide a more efficient government service to the people who will occupy New Clark City," David said.

New Clark City is patterned after the development of Putrajaya, the federal administrative capital of Malaysia.

"Putrajaya brought ease of doing business (with) the Malaysian government and helped solve traffic in their capital, so we want to adopt these in New Clark City," David added.

The NGAC is a 200-hectare area envisioned to host the administrative offices of all branches of the Philippine government, as well as their attached agencies.

The NGAC will have a disaster risk and recovery center to provide continuous business and ensure government service in case of national calamities.

"New Clark City has always been the dream for the Tarlac community. This new city will enable people in our province to be part of a huge economic activity awaiting the country," Tarlac Governor Susan Yap said during an interview.

"I'm happy that the Philippines' first smart city will be built here in Capas. Soon, huge investments will be pouring (into) our municipality, and locators will see the great economic potential in our town,” said Capas Mayor Reynaldo Catacutan.

Meanwhile, BCDA Senior Vice President for Business Development and Operations Engr. Joshua Bingcang said NGAC's near completion marks the first step in decongesting Metro Manila from its traffic situation.

"By establishing a modern government center in Clark, we're contributing to the vision of President Duterte to spur growth and investments in areas outside the capital. NGAC was designed to bring equal access of public service to the Filipinos," Bingcang said.

MTD Philippines Inc., a subsidiary of MTD Capital Berhad of Malaysia, is Bases Conversion Development Authority’s (BCDA) joint venture partner in developing the 40-hectare Phase 1A of the NCC comprising of a Sports Stadium, an Athlete’s Village, a Government Center and Government Housing units for workers.

To date, MTD is confirmed to have 4,000 employees working on site for the on track completion of the facilities in time for the SEA Games this December. (PNA)