BCDA reopens New Clark City to tourists on weekends
MABALACAT CITY—The Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) has opened the New Clark City (NCC) to the public as a weekend leisure destination for fully vaccinated individuals.
The BCDA, in a statement, said tourists would now have free access to the rising metropolis every weekend following the easing of quarantine restrictions.
“With easing lockdowns, BCDA felt that it is the right time to reopen New Clark City to the public, and enable visitors to experience what this future metropolis has to offer,” said lawyer Aristotle Batuhan, BCDA officer-in-charge, president and chief executive officer.
At the height of the pandemic, the BCDA converted the National Government Administrative Center and Athletes’ Village in NCC into medical and isolation facilities to help the government contain the growing number of COVID-19 cases.
Batuhan said a ceremonial bike ride and fun run around NCC kicked off its reopening on May 28, drawing runners, bikers, duathletes, triathletes, as well as national athletes returning from the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Local bands and performers from SEA also treated visitors to a street party, with food trucks lining up the venue.
“We hope this move will uplift the spirit of Filipinos after two years of fighting the virus and inspire optimism that recovery is on the horizon,” Batuhan said.
According to the BCDA, tourists are allowed to visit NCC’s commercial area, the river bank, walkways, bike lanes and jogging paths.
The athletics stadium and the aquatic center, which were used in the 2019 SEA Games, were also opened to the guests “via designated viewing areas only.”
“Whether it be jogging, biking, sightseeing, strolling in the park or having a picnic, there are a number of things that you can do in New Clark City,” Batuhan said.
He added: “We want to offer this place as an option for a day trip or weekend getaway for athletes, art and nature lovers, travelers, and families alike.”
Located in Capas, Tarlac, the NCC can be accessed from the south via the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway’s Dolores exit and the MacArthur Highway cloverleaf interchange.
From the north, motorists can proceed toward Sto. Rosario Road in Capas, then turn right toward Camp O’Donnel Road. —JUN A. MALIG
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