Bulacan, a first world province by 2040

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CITY OF MALOLOS–Bulacan is the next first world province by 2040 parallel with the prospective advancement of the Philippine economy as the Top 16th in the World by 2050, according to Arch. Felino Palafox Jr., Principal Architect-Urban Planner and Founder, Managing Partner, Palafox Associates and President, Palafox Architecture Group, Inc.

In a recent Invest Bulacan Summit 2023 themed “Bulacan,  a First World Province by 2040. Towards A Plan”,  Palaforx bared that with the “current GDP growth in the country, the Philippines can achieve a high position and can have a leading global economy status by 2050.

China will continue to lead the world economy followed by the US, India, Brazil, Mexico, Russia, Indonesia, Japan, UK, Germany, Nigeria, France, Korea, Turkey, Vietnam, Canada, Philippines, Italy, Iran and Egypt as the top 20 leading giant economies, according to Pallafox.

Palafox said the now undergoing P754.60 billion worth New Manila International Airport (NMIA) in Bulakan town project of San Miguel Corporation and several enormous projects will catapult the game changing economy of Bulacan and the rest of the country.

Palafox Architecture Group is behind the designs and innovations of the NMIA including the AeroCity, which is a city and a community within the 2,500 hectares NMIA grounds.

According to the multi-awarded and well-renowned architect, the NMIA and the Aerocity are designed to have an environment-friendly master-planned, well-designed green buildings and sustainable communities and cites based on the concept of San Miguel Corporation’s President and Chief Operating Officer Ramon S. Ang.

“What we are building is the Philippines’ first  Green City of the Future,” quoting Ang in his presentation. Being Green City of the Future, the NMIA and the Aerocity have the environmental goals of river flow enhancements through flood control channel, ridge-to reef approach water catchment; habitat and biodiversity through marine and bird habitation, forest and biological diversity;  green infrastructure through permeable pavements, green roofs, rainwater harvesting.

Other Bulacan major projects

Bulacan being the gateway to the north links Metro Manila to the resource-rich provinces of Central and Northern Luzon. Today, other than the NMIA and the Aerocity, a number of multi-billion worth national and local infrastructure development including flood control projects are lined up for the province.

According to Arlene Pascual, head of the Provincial Government of Bulacan Planning and Development Office, leading the macro developments are the already constructed Bulacan Bulk Water Supply project by the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), Luzon Clean Water Development Corp, the province 24 respective water districts and the PGB worth P24.4 billion.

Roads and highways

Pascual said one of the magnet of industries today in Bulacan is the recently inaugurated Arterial Road Bypass Project Phase III (Plaridel Bypass) project of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) worth P5.26 billion including the now under construction MRT-7 Project by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) worth P77 billion and the North Luzon EAST Expressway Parkways also by DPWH worth P7.60 billion.

The North South Commuter Railway (NSCR) Project of the DOTr from Malolos-Tutuban worth P$1.99 billion is nearing its full completion, according to Pascual.  Its Malolos to New Clark City section which is P23.40 Billion. 37. 50 km railway with 10 stations between Malolos and Tutuban will serve up to 300,000 passengers daily and will reduce travel time between Malolos and Tutuban from 1.50 hours by bus to just 35 minutes.

The DPWH is also set to construct the North Luzon Expressway East (NLEE) Alignment highway project worth P38.94 Billion that will connect and traverse the City of San Jose del Monte, Norzagaray, San Rafael, San Ildefonso, San Miguel in Bulacan and Gapan City, Penaranda, Sta. Rosa Nueva in Nueva Ecija.

Flood control projects

A macro flood control project Manila Bay Integrated Flood Control, Coastal Defense and Expressway project by Coastal Development Consortium consists of San Miguel Holdings Corporation and New San Jose Builders Inc. and the DPWH worth P399.66 billion is also a priority project to solve the massive flooding in the low-lying towns and cities in the province.

The DPWH will also build the Central Luzon –Pampanga River Floodway Control Project worth P115.05 billion while the PGB is now in preparation to conduct a feasibility study for the construction of the Flood Control Mega Dike and Water Containment Facility project that will catch 2.2 billion cubic meter of water, Pascual also said.

President Marcos himself visited and conducted a dialogue with Bulacan and Pampanga officials following the onslaught of typhoon Egay and southwest monsoon in August. The Bayabas Dam Project of the PGB, MWSS including local government units worth P13.19 billion will both serve as flood control project and for farmers irrigation.

Bulacan’s parks, agriculture centers

According to Pascual, the PGB through the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and concerned local government units will also construct a Satellite Government Center and Eco-Tourism Hub worth P6.20 billion in Dona Remedios Trinidad (DRT) town. The facility will also hub the Bulacan Farmer’s Productivity Center, Bulacan Livestock Multiplier Farm and Animal Breeding Center.

The PGB in partnership with Robinsons Land Corporation will also build a Bulacan CyberPark and Business District worth P4.577 billion.

The PGB will also construct a Mixed-Use Development Property in Tabang, Guiguinto with P4.80 million.

Provincial Administrator Antonette Constantino said the birth pains in all these macro projects and investments will pay off when the thousands of jobs already landed for the fresh graduates and other qualified residents in the province.

Constantino reminded the nearly 500 business companies and their respective officials and representatives who attended the Bulacan Invest Summit of Gov. Daniel Fernando’s business agenda which is the continued protection of the environment amid the progress and development.

Maintaining the preservation of the national wealth while reaching the economic gain through industries, modern technology hubs and parks are just a few of the challenges these changing times bring.

She also echoed Fernando’s thrust that all the rest of the other leaders in the province must “act and lead economically and not politically”.

In the end, she said, part of the governor’s top agenda is for these macro developments and investments to serve the less privileged people of Bulacan.  

Cristina Tuzon, president of Bulacan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) assured all investors that the province is ready to brace the developments these multi-billion worth of projects will cascade even to the micro, small, medium entrepreneurs.

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