Beng bullish on planned cities extension project PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 20 April 2016 14:42

Mayor Beng Climaco has expressed confidence that socio-economic and environmental sustainability through orderly expansion of the city can be attained through the Planned Cities Extension (PCE) project implemented under the Achieving Sustainable Urban Development program of the UN-Habitat Philippines.

Climaco said this, as the PCE technical working group of the city presented Tuesday the proposed Zamboanga City Extension Plan specifically the land use, architecture and economic development aspects. Present during the presentation were the ASUD team headed by UN Habitat Country Programme Manager Christopher Rollo together with Agencia Española de Cooperacion Internacional Para de Desarollo (AECID) Coordinator General, Señor Juan Pita.

She commended the PCE TWG for the well-done proposal, as she called on all sectors to advocate for its realization. She emphasized anew that the ASUD project will be a step further in the city’s quest for building back a better city.

For his part, Señor Juan Pita said Zamboanga City should be prepared for growing and opportunities coming through the PCE with the full support of the AECID and UN Habitat.    “We should be prepared to succeed”, he stressed as he thanked the city government for being very receptive to the project.

The proposed PCE is a 25-year plan to be implemented in the east coast area covering approximately 868 hectare of land in Mercedes district (Talabaan, Boalan, Culianan and Zambowood). Under the plan, the area is identified as appropriate for development as a new town which will be an integral part of the larger built up area of the city.

The PCE plan is to develop the periphery of the proposed new Zamboanga International Airport a mixed use planned city extension, similar to an aeropark or aeropolis. It is considered to respond to the development need of the city for planned growth center that will attract investments beyond the usual central business district location.

Under the plan, the PCE is divided into 5 clusters: mixed commercial and residential area covering 284.61 hectares; garden residential area covering 128.49 ha; transit oriented development and high density commercial area covering 72.29 ha; ecopark/garden community covering 256.71 ha and agri-industrial and mixed commercial residential area covering 121.34 hectares.

The implementation of the plan, based on the proposal, will utilize various financing strategies to include phased implementation, financing plan for phase 1 capital requirements, mixed financing, revolving fund, financing modalities for urban poor housing and cost recovery.

The plan will have to be backed by a city ordinance that will declare the selected site as the PCE district with boundaries and that will institutionalize a local body in charge of administering the PCE. It will also have to be incorporated in the 2011-2020 Comprehensive Land Use Plan and an ordinance will also have to be enacted for the acquisition of lands within the PCE following accepted modes of land acquisition taking into account financing modalities. — Sheila Covarrubias