If the BCDA plans follow through, the Philippines is about to embark on some encouraging progress. Substantial foresight is being realized in an attempt to do something really big, green and clean for the Philippines called Clark Green City. The project is being planned by the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) and is to be located directly north of the Clark Freeport in an untouched, forested area of Central Luzon. This highly-laudable plan was recently unveiled by the BCDA to the Philippines Inter-Agency Infrastructure Committee (Infracom) on October 30, 2012.
50 Years to Completion? We Can Do Better!
This project is an ambitious and amorous undertaking by the BCDA that we at Clark Subic Marketing believe should be supported, encouraged and driven much more aggressively than the 50-year timeframe to build-out being initially proposed. With a little innovative thinking and passion, we can do better.
A New Manila without the Environmental Issues
The project is essentially slatted to eventually become another Metro Manila, but this time erecting a mega-city from the ground up as a modern, green paradise. This city should be clean and sustainable in all aspects, helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions and eliminating all of the factors that contribute to pollution and the resultant respiratory, cancer and other ill health issues large city residents currently experience. Plans are for an entirely environmentally-friendly development utilizing the latest and greenest technology and energy generation available throughout the entirety of this new green megacity.
Modeled after Korea’s Songdo Region
The Clark Green City project is being modeled after Korea’s Songdo region. Located in Incheon, Korea, near the airport, Songdo is considered a smart-city that utilizes sustainable high-rise buildings, its own water recycling facility, a water catchment system, efficient power and energy usage schemes, and an automated garbage collection system that avoids the use of large, pollution-producing trucks to produce a region that is one of the greenest and sustainable on earth.
Reasons for this Undertaking
Filipinos have become increasingly urbanized over the last 50 years. In the year1960, approximately 30 percent of Filipinos lived in urban metro areas, while the majority of the populous lived in provincial, rural farming areas. By the year 2000 almost 51 percent lived in dense urban areas. The trend continues as globalization brings more jobs to urban areas, the populous will continue to flock to where the jobs are. Maintaining an attitude of forward-thinking, the BCDA is working to ensure the future of the Philippines is protected by proactively accommodating this mass migration to new, urban megalopolises in an environmentally smart way.
Metro Manila is at build-out capacity; there is simply no more room for our burgeoning population to continue their migration to the few, limited urban hectares left in Manila and the rest of our country. With roads, emergency services, infrastructure, air quality and other quality-of-life aspects stressed to their limits, there is great need for new, courageous and far-sighted thinking. Due to this trend and overwhelming population growth, the need for a new, clean and sustainable megacity similar to Manila is crucial and cannot be understated at this point. But in order to ensure the preservation of our country and planet, entirely new paradigms for accommodating this growth simply must be embraced.
The World Condition
Our planet is dealing with unprecedented challenges such as unbridled population growth, climate change, rising sea levels, oceans in decline, mercury-contaminated seafood, eco-systems in collapse, rain forest destruction, polluted superfund cleanup zones, nuclear contaminated zones, soil mineral depletion and toxic farming practices that result in pesticide and herbicide-laden crops, and antibiotic and hormone laced livestock contributing to outrageous cancer rates—to name a few. The contamination levels in our environment from industrialized and non-thinking exploitation of our planet and the general lack of consideration for its survival will lead to its eventual destruction.
Paradigm Shift for the Sake of our Children
We all need to change our paradigm of thinking when we undertake any mega-project that has the potential to inflict a deleterious outcome on our precious one-and-only home we call earth. To not first and foremost consider the effects on this singular free-floating blue-planet as we continue to abuse every aspect of this irreplaceable home is simply too devastating to imagine. Quite simply, the continued existence of our only home the lives of our children and grandchildren are quite literally at stake.
Hopeful Vision Requires Acceleration to for our Survival
While this project offers hope in-that our Filipino leaders are attempting to do what is right by our country and planet, we believe a 50 year build-out for this project is too conservative. Our country and planet needs groundbreaking examples of green and sustainable developments at a much quicker pace. By entirely embracing this project with every ounce of our beings, the Philippines can become the example for a world struggling to survive.
Financial Limitations? We are only Limited by our Minds and Passion
While we may be limited in our ability to financially undertake such an ambitious and expensive project, the world will be watching. The interest in the Philippines is at an all time high with GDP increasing (in the midst of a world downturn) and many other economic and social factors improving. We believe there are ways to find private funding that will transform this zone much faster than a 50 year plan.
Finding the Right Individuals and Entities
The key here is in marketing and promotion of the idea to the right people entities and countries. Private investors from countries such as Korea, Japan and China are already heavily invested in the Philippines and in the Clark and Subic Freeport Zones. We are a winter tropic retreat for many of these countries and private investors are flocking here in record numbers. We believe the Philippine government should partner with these current foreign investors, along with our business leaders.
Our Mega Business Leaders—Please Step Forward
The country’s mega-business owners such as the father of Philippine retail Mr. Henry Sy and the Philippine Airlines and San Miguel founder Lucio Tan along with the rest of the Fortune along with the rest of the Fortune 40 Philippine list of wealthy individuals. We feel that broad-spectrum participation of Filipino patriots is essential in this effort to drive the Clark Green City project forward at a substantially accelerated pace.
Pride in our fabulous country and the privileges our workforce and country have help bring to these leaders should be good reason to help drive these influential men—who adore their country—to participate in investing this future dream. In doing so, our business leaders can know that their beloved Philippines will eventually stand-out as a principal-player on the new-world stage as the Philippines actually helps set the planet on a new course of deliverance from its current path of destruction.
Property and Foreign Ownership
We believe that land ownership, rather long-term leases—as the current Clark and Subic business structure is setup—is crucial for adequate investment interest and overall success of Clark Green City. Additionally, foreign ownership of land in the zone is critical in order to give a substantial incentive for participation from foreign business sponsors. To substantially get the project rolling on an accelerated timetable, income and property tax holidays for up to 10 years for investors who participate should be considered.
Beyond Songdo—Shoot for the Stars
In order to become a truly unique and limitless project, it is our belief the aspects of sustainability and green should go far beyond the Songdo concept. Clark Green City should be truly self-sufficient with extensive solar power, geothermal and wind power providing essentially all of the cities power needs. All windows on buildings and high-rises should be required to integrate the new-technology window glass that doubles as solar cells that is currently being developed. Green building techniques surrounding efficiency design factors, insulation standards and general building efficiency requirements, should be some of the highest standards currently required in the entire world.
Green Transportation Systems throughout
Within the Clark Green City region, transportation systems must be emission-conscious. In our picture of ecologically-successful project, only electric, hydrogen, natural gas and other forms of near or zero emission vehicles would be allowed. Solar powered charging stations for electric cars and trucks could be integrated throughout the city. Clean electric or magnetic levitation super-speed mass transit systems would be a requirement in order to efficiently move workers throughout the region. Air quality is essential in order to draw foreigners who are searching for an environmentally clean utopia of sorts. Anything less than a near or zero emission transportation network is unacceptable for this project.
Clean and Contaminant-Free Food and Water
Clark Green City needs to integrate a new model of public health by encouraging, training and providing the needed products, procedures and equipment to farmers and ranchers in order to produce and cultivate local and sustainably-growing methods for toxic-free, hormone-free, antibiotic-free organic foods and natural livestock. In addition, the city should make available access to safe, contaminant-free drinking water by protecting the ecological integrity of the region and Green City’s primary water sources.
High-Speed Fiber Data Network
In order to create a city that is representative of the twenty-first century and to gather needed clean industry and corporations, there should be extensive provisions for state-of-the-art data information infrastructure. The communication/internet network system should be of the, latest technology, highest speed, and most extensible, multiply-redundant fiber design available. This system should be designed to deliver integrated data service all the way into the twenty-second century.
Encouraging Clean Industry to Green City
Cutting-edge, clean and responsible technologies should be encouraged in a high-tech district designed to draw interest from research and development and Silicon Valley type firms. Fully-integrated, environmentally-designed facilities offering free solar power to industries willing to relocate from other countries would help bring the right type of industries to Green City. Cutting-edge technology facilities should be built and ready for turn-key occupation that house laboratories for such areas as computer innovations and platform test-bed for high-tech innovation and inventions.
Protecting the Environment
Above all, Green City should be protected utilizing enforceable laws, charters and regulations that uphold the maintenance of natural habitats. As building commences and progresses, a mindset of keeping the effects of Clark Green City from negatively impacting the surrounding environment should be considered to the greatest degree possible. Protection of important natural habitat characteristics, such as local water-features, native vegetation and crops, shelter for wildlife and native species should be upheld to the greatest degree possible.
Look to Dubai as an Example
Getting the word out is essential to success. When Dubai first set-out to become a major tourist destination, nobody had even heard of the city located on the Persian Gulf in the United Arab Emirates. The massive effort and aggressive build-out schedule was thought impossible to accomplish. The Sheik of the Al Maktoum ruling family had a dream and pursued it with vigor and smart marketing to the rest of the world. As the aggressive building schedule and engineering marvels took shape, travel shows from around the globe began to feature this unique new little region in the middle of the Arabian Desert. As a result, Dubai experienced some of the fastest and most dramatic growth ever experienced in the modern age as businesses and wealthy individuals relocated to this fabulous city. From the years 2000 to 2011, the city literally exploded with skyscrapers and infrastructure. Today, Dubai has emerged as a cosmopolitan metropolis that has grown to become a global city and the business and cultural hub of the Middle East.
Outstanding Promotional Campaigns Required
After the SARS outbreak in Hong Kong in 2002 and 2003 had devastated tourism at this previous tourism hot-spot, the Hong Kong department of tourism produced and launched the “Live it, Love it” ad campaign that showed in numerous countries around the world to once again bring Hong Kong back to a major tourism destination. Jackie Chan, a well know actor took part these promos in order to assist his country.
The Philippines currently has a very well-known celebrity in Manny Pacquiao. Manny’s love for his country is significant. As a multi-title world champion and Philippine congressman, he is highly-influential around the world. At this point in time, his name is perhaps the best known in all of boxing. A promotional campaign featuring our beloved boxer and congressman would be essential to pushing this project to its due course.
Foreign Marketing Campaigns
In order to attract an adequate amount of interest and investment to make this happen at a much-faster pace than the projected 50 year build-out, foreign promotional marketing campaigns should blanket wealthy and first-world countries around the globe. Plans for the city should be exposed and started as soon as possible in order to garner the attention of the world. The power of aggressive and innovative global marketing is not to be overlooked.
Ads heralding the project should be taken-out in journals around the world that specifically target well-funded, sustainably-minded and progressive individuals and entrepreneur. National Geographic, the Smithsonian and the Audubon Society magazines are great starting points.
It’s crucial to attract individuals with both money and an interest in groundbreaking, game-changing technology to make the world a better place. Such individuals as Richard Branson, owner of Virgin Atlantic Airways (currently offering a 25 million dollar reward to anyone able to come up with a system to mitigate worldwide greenhouse gases) and Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla Motors (a progressive electric car manufacturer) are very wealthy and interested in saving the world from the effects of industrialization. Al Gore is perhaps the most well-known environmentalist on the planet. His movie An Inconvenient Truth chronicled the devastation of global climate change. Ensuring individuals like Mr. Gore were informed as to the plans for Clark Green City would be helpful in that he is extremely well connected and influential in this arena and may very-well be willing to become a spokesman for it to an attentively-listening group.
A New Governmental Charter for Clark Green City
To truly make this work, business as usual in the Philippines would no longer be an option for Clark Green City. Ideally, the zone would have to be an autonomous region with its own set of environmental and sustainability laws. The civil service and governmental aspects of this zone will need to adhere to a new set of standards, laws, regulation and integrity.
The Filipino Heart will bring Success
If this project is to be undertaken and fast-tracked, it must become an absolute desire and passion of the Filipino heart, a full-fledged effort leveraging every imaginable resource and asset. Let’s find our balance, leverage every asset, pursue our dream and develop Clark Green City to become a shining example for the rest of the world to follow.