Sunday, December 28, 2014

City within a city’ to rise in once laid-back Ecija capital

PALAYAN CITY – This once laid-back provincial capital is looming as Nueva Ecija’s latest growth area with the unveiling of a massive development plan that would see the building of a new city within the city.

          The miniature new city concept is encapsulated in the estimated P2-billion government center cum business hub, dubbed Palayan City Business Hub (PCBH)  which construction is set to start anytime this month and which will be completed in two years.     

Mayor Adrianne Mae Cuevas said that the growth area involves the 3.4-hectare site in Barangay Singalat where not only a one-stop shop government center is envisioned to rise but also multiple buildings, making the area a legitimate growth area similar to the UP Techno Hub.

“Essentially, this is similar to the UP Techno Hub,” said Cuevas, whose city government donated the land to the provincial government for the PCBH.

The project, considered the single biggest project by the provincial government under the administration of Gov. Aurelio Umali, is adjacent to several structures already in place such as the provincial Capitol and City Hall, the newly completed onion cold storage plant, the provincial convention center, the Eduardo L. Joson Memorial College and dormitory, a hotel, emergency hospital, police station, state university and government offices.    

Under the plan, which will be undertaken by the Alloy MTD, the Malaysian conglomerate which is a known infrastructure giant in a joint venture agreement with the provincial government,  four multi-story buildings with a total area of 37,500 square meters will be set up, two of which are world-class business process outsourcing (BPO) buildings with a total seating capacity of 2,500.

Both structures will be equipped with high speed Internet connectivity, a major requirement by call center companies.

Cuevas said a three-story, 75-room hotel is integrated in the plan, considered the first major commercial establishment in the city.   

At the heart of the project is the government center which will be occupied by national offices that are moving from Cabanatuan to Palayan City, part of efforts to consolidate all services, both national and local, in one location, to provide better service to the people.

Cuevas said apart from high-speed Internet connection, the project will be comparable to buildings in Metro Manila with state-of-the-art air-conditioning facilities and mechanical systems.

As a new city within a city, the government center cum trade hub will house a 7,500-square meter central plaza to serve as main activity center with a substation connected to the Luzon grid, ensuring stable and sufficient power.

The provincial government has secured a direct connection approval from the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).

Additionally, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)-powered standby generators will be installed as base load support for the power requirements of the four multi-story buildings.

Cuevas said with the project, the best is about to come in the city where up to 13,000 jobs will be generated, of which 10,000 alone will involve call center agents.

Alloy MTD, which operates in 13 countries including the Us and China, has been credited with building world-class government centers patterned after Putrajaya, a planned city and federal administrative center 25 kilometers south of Kuala Lumpur.

Made up of a network of open spaces and wide boulevards, Putrajaya was constructed in 1995 as the biggest project in Malaysia and one of the biggest in Southeast Asia at a cost of $8.1 billion.

          It also bankrolled the construction of the P3.9-billion, 36-kilometer South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and the P2.5-billion Calabarzon Regional Government Center (CRGC), dubbed the “Complete City.” It is targeting to construct P10 billion worth of government centers  in the country through Public Private Partnership (PPP) with the CRGC serving as template. 


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