Aetas, farmers 'to benefit' from New Clark City development

CLARK FREEPORT -- The Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) said Aeta families will not be displaced, as there are no declared ancestral domains or Certificates of Ancestral Domain Titles (CADT) in the New Clark City area.

The New Clark City, which is within the Clark Special Economic Zone, is a government land owned by the BCDA. It is creating opportunities for everyone especially for the IP groups and farmers who may be affected in the development of roads and other infrastructure.

BCDA also holds regular dialogues with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) and the communities to assure that they are part of the development.

Out of the 9,450 hectares, only 3,500 hectares are buildable, leaving 6,000 hectares or 60 percent of green and open spaces for upland farming and forest reserves. Less than 40 percent will be developed, the BCDA said.

BCDA is building access roads to and from New Clark City that will provide access and connectivity to everyone, especially indigenous peoples (IPs), residents, and farmers for their livelihood. The roads will benefit all stakeholders. They will be the first and biggest beneficiaries of these developments.

Financial assistance packages amounting to P300,000 per hectare (or P30 per square meter), have also been made available to all project-affected people, including IPs/farmers.

This is the highest compensation package provided by the government to project-affected people. Relocation sites have also been provided by BCDA within New Clark City for those whose residential structures were affected, according to the agency.

Credible institutions such as the University of the Philippines and the Asian Development Bank worked with BCDA to study and to master-plan to ensure sustainability and inclusivity of New Clark City.

The University of the Philippines Training Center for Applied Geodesy and Photogrammetry (UP-TCAGP) did the aerial mapping for this project to ensure that the masterplan is aligned with the natural contours and usage of the land, allowing maximum benefits for the government and all stakeholders.

The development of the 1.4-kilometer River Park Corridor follows the natural flow of the Cutcut river as advised by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The ADB is also conducting a Biodiversity Assessment and Hydrology Study to conserve the flora and fauna and ensure the sustainability of water in New Clark City.

The BCDA has yet to receive a copy of the study by the University of Glasgow and the University of the Philippines.

The BCDA is very eager to dialogue with the group to further ensure inclusivity and sustainability of New Clark City.


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