+ BACKGROUND, CHALLENGES AND OBJECTIVES
The National Government Administrative Center is one of the pioneer developments of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority in relation to one of its biggest projects to date which is the New Clark City located in Capas, Tarlac. The New Clark City (NCC) is the first smart, green and resilient city of the Philippines. According to a study conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the worsening traffic condition in Metro Manila amounts to around PhP3.5 Billion in lost opportunities per day and may rise to Ph5.4 Billion by 2035 if no interventions were to be implemented. The development of NCC and NGAC is one of the several approaches to be implemented by the Philippine Government to address the worsening traffic congestion situation and rapid urbanization in Metro Manila.
The Philippines is one of the top 10 countries in the world most highly vulnerable to natural disasters and calamities. Around 60% of the country’s land area is exposed to multiple hazards and 74% of the population is susceptible to its impact. The location of Metro Manila lies within the West Valley Fault, a 100-kilometer fault that runs through six cities in Metro Manila and nearby provinces, is considered the worst-case scenario of all the 18 earthquake scenarios in the Philippines. This is very critical as majority of the ministries and the President’s office is located in Manila. Thus, the development of the NGAC strengthens national security and ensures business continuity of government offices in the event of a major catastrophe hitting Metro Manila.
One of the objectives of NGAC is to spur economic growth and providing business and employment opportunities outside Metro Manila. With the development of NGAC, the government would be able to provide a more efficient delivery of basic government services by providing a “One-Stop-Shop” business processing.
+ ACTIONS AND IMPLEMENTATION
The development of NGAC was done through a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) approach wherein the winning private sector partner will finance the construction, operation and maintenance of the NGAC while the ownership of the property remains with the Philippine Government. Similar with other PPP projects in the Philippines, the project underwent through a Swiss Challenge and public consultation among concerned stakeholders who will be affected by the development of the project. BCDA, as the implementing arm of the project, provided just compensation and proper relocation sites to the project affected people. To support the livelihood of the affected people, BCDA and the winning private sector partner hired several skilled workers who formerly lived in the location of the project.
In terms of monitoring and evaluation, BCDA and its winning private sector partner hired an Independent Consultant which will ensure that the timeline and activities of the project are done on time. The status of the construction activities of the project are also reported to the concerned Board Members of BCDA and winning private sector partner for updates and appropriate instruction in the event that there are delays.
The NGAC is one of the best practices or model PPP projects in the Philippines. Despite the magnitude of the construction works and sustainability and smart technologies to be incorporated, the project was completed within 17 months. This is one of the first, if not the first, PPP project to be completed within that period range and be completed 2 months ahead of schedule. It should also be stressed that NGAC served as the staging venue for the 30th Southeast Asian Games held in December 2019 in the Philippines. The NGAC was the main venue for all water sports of SEA Games and track and field competition. The NGAC also served as official housing for the Philippine athletes.
+ OUTCOMES AND IMPACTS
During the construction of NGAC, around 8,000 people were employed during the construction of the project. This provided employment opportunities to people especially those who live within the vicinity of the project area.
Following the pronouncement of the Philippine Government on the development of NGAC, around 24 government agencies have expressed their interest in relocating the offices to NGAC. Among of these offices are the Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Transportation, Office of Civil Defense, Central Bank of the Philippines, etc. These government agencies play a very important role in the bureaucracy. Having their offices in NGAC will ensure that their functions will not be disrupted in the event of a major natural disaster in Metro Manila.
Among the factors that contributed to the success of the project is the strict observance of the guideline in conducting PPP projects through transparent public bidding. Another factor that contributed to the success of the project is the strong political will of the government and support from several stakeholders and local government units.
+ REPLICABILITY AND SCALABILITY
The replication of a project similar to NGAC is already being done in other countries such as the City of Putrajaya in Malaysia and Sejong City in South Korea. The development of a new administrative center is being implemented once the existing conditions of capital cities or administrative centers start to worsen and negatively affect the living conditions of the citizens. However, the implementation of this kind of project requires strong political will of the government complemented by necessary legislation measures to ensure that the project will be completed and will not be affected by any political disruptions.
+ BUDGET AMOUNT
The total project cost of NGAC is estimated at USD 268.049 Million
+ BUDGET SOURCE
The project was fully financed by the private sector partner in accordance with the provisions of the Joint Venture Agreement.