The Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) announced it has inked an agreement with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) that will help BCDA develop the areas in and around railway stations being built by the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
According to the BCDA, these sites are located in Fort Bonifacio, and would serve as models of the Philippines’s Transit-Oriented Developments (TODs), as well as “prototypes” of sustainable mixed-use communities with access to high-quality train systems.
On March 21, BCDA President and Chief Executive Officer (PCEO) Aileen R. Zosa and JICA Philippines Chief Representative Sakamoto Takema signed the Record of Discussions for the Capacity Enhancement for the TOD Project, BCDA said.
The agency noted the TOD Project aims to maximize the “potential” of two major railway projects passing along BCDA properties in Metro Manila.
These railway projects, the BCDA noted, are the P500-billion Metro Manila Subway Project (MMSP) and the P800-billion North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR), which it said are also funded by the Japanese government.
In particular, BCDA said it would lead the development of TODs surrounding four stations of the subway project as these are traversing its properties, which include the Market! Market! mall in Bonifacio Global City (BGC).
Other properties, it noted, are the proposed Senate-Department of Education (DepEd), Kalayaan Avenue, and Lawton Avenue stations.
The agency underscored the importance of Transit-Oriented Developments, saying these will have economic benefits with the efficient development around the stations.
“These TODs will serve as the backbone of the transportation network, effectively connecting to feeder systems, such as jeepneys and buses,” BCDA said.
According to BCDA, its technical cooperation agreement with JICA will “strengthen the capacity of BCDA in planning and implementing the TODs for the subway system.”
As to the role of BCDA in this agreement, the agency said it is expected to identify “institutional arrangements” as well as develop TOD guidelines for the subway TODs, conceptual plans for the four TOD stations in Fort Bonifacio, and business plans for the TODs near the BGC and the proposed Senate-DepEd stations.
The agency said the conceptual and business plans would be used by BCDA as “critical parameters” in the design of the redevelopment of Market! Market! which stands on the 99,000-square-meter “super block” in BGC.
The said redevelopment of the property will improve Market! Market!’s “commercial viability” as well as the quality of urban life of those working and living in Fort Bonifacio and the areas surrounding it, BCDA said.
Further, BCDA noted, “These will also serve as a framework for the seamless integration of the proposed Senate-DepEd station of the NSCR line and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia), ensuring smooth transfer and mobility of commuters.”
For her part, Zosa said building TODs will help the country address the need for more efficient connectivity between major mass transit systems and feeder systems, “substantially” reduce carbon footprint, especially in congested areas of Metro Manila, and create more sustainable communities.
“BCDA and JICA are doing all of these for our stakeholders, for our commuters, and for the population of Metro Manila who have endured the traffic congestion for such a long time,” the BCDA top official said.
Meanwhile, for Sakamoto, the TOD project will pave the way “to further create business opportunities in and around railway stations.”
“Consequently, the TOD can enhance the attractiveness of the Philippines to potential investors,” the JICA Philippines Chief Representative stressed.
According to BCDA, the Project for Capacity Development for TODs will span 36 months from the commencement of activities.
The agency highlighted that TODs will also promote “efficient” land use and economic development in the area by creating “compact and high-density” mixed-use development that features office, housing and retail areas, green and public spaces, as well as quality public transit.
Moreover, TODs will reduce energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions by cutting down the need to travel and lessening reliance on private vehicles, BCDA said. -30-