NAGA CITY CBD III: Almeda highway seen to be the city’s next business hub
By Jason B. Neola NAGA CITY --- With the proposed construction of at least 7 public facilities along the Almeda Highway in Barangay Concepcion Grande, here, prospective investors and stakeholders can expect another emerging business hub in the city that will find its center of development radiating from a 3-hectare estate owned by the city government. Mayor John G. Bongat has last year issued Executive Order 2017-005 creating the Almeda Highway Area Development Project Council (AHADPC) which is tasked to come up with plans and approaches to pave the way for the development of another urban space in a more accessible and space-friendly setting. The executive measure addresses the need for the city government to sustain the impact of effective urban spatial planning in the light of its proud reputation as the Most Competitive Component City in the Philippines for 2015 and 2016. The mayor said the city property along the Almeda Highway will provide an opportunity to initiate and lead an area-specific site development that can incorporate contemporary environmental and structural innovations, along with other landowners and stakeholders along the 4.2-kilometer highway. The structures to be initially built in the property are: 1. Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Center 2. City Health Office 2 3. Convention Center 4. Life Counselling Center 5. Evacuation Center 6. Emergency Command Center, and 7. 2-storey 8-classroom building of the City College of Naga The blueprint of each structure has already been readied and before the end of 3rd quarter 2018, construction will start for the P10M Emergency Command Center, the P28M City College of Naga, a 2-storey 8-classroom building, and the P10.9M Health Office 2. Right now, requirements for the bidding processes of these 3 facilities are underway. Sources of funds According to the mayor, the sources of funds are: 1. The LGU itself for the proposed Physical Therapy and Rehab Center, and the Emergency Command Center, and the P7M funds that will be augmented to the construction funds for the City College of Naga 2. The Dangerous Drug Board national office for the Life Counselling Center 3. The national government for the evacuation center 4. The Quezon City LGU for the 2-storey 8-classroom City College of Naga 5. The Department of Health for the City Health Office 2. Bongat said the city government will augment the funds intended for the construction of the school with P7M and raise it to P28M. Like the 3 facilities, construction of other buildings, such as the P4M Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Center, the P160M Convention Center, of which the funds are going to be borrowed from a bank, and the P5M Life Counselling Center will also be undertaken by the city government except for the evacuation center that will be handled by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). The funds for the evacuation center, which was acquired by Mayor John G. Bongat from the national government, amounts to P50M. The planned construction of all the 7 facilities was described by Bongat as “progressive,” which means the erection of each structure are expeditiously continuing or shall be built based on their own timetable. The powers and functions of the AHADPC: 1. Draft and design the area development plan for the 4.2 km. Almeda Highway, including its branding; 2. Ensure the integration of Disaster Risk Reduction, Climate Change Adaptation and green technology into the area development plans, including strategies towards the area’s sustainable economic and environment-friendly development; 3.Recommend strategies for the adoption and overseeing of the implementation of the crafted area and development plan; 4. Encourage and coordinate with private investors and government agencies in the implementation of various suite development activities; and 5. Submit to the city mayor a bi-monthly progress report.