NEW CLARK CITY, Capas, Tarlac–Aeta workers in New Clark City got to experience the world-class facilities during the 30th South East Asian Games held here.
“Masaya po…kasi marami pong kapwa ko na nanonood,” says Ernesto De Guzman while watching the recent games at the Aquatics Center. “Hindi na po lumalayo yung ibang mga katutubo na manood pa sa ibang bayan. Dito na lang po sa amin,” he added.
De Guzman also shared about his life before he was employed in New Clark City. “Nasa bundok lang po kami, nagbubungkal ng lupa,” he said.
Another aeta worker in New Clark City is Corazon Capiz, a grandmother who watched the games with her two grandchildren.
“Masaya kaming lahat,” she said citing that she could not help but compare the difference now that they have jobs and better roads.
“Ngayon po, lahat ng mga tao kulot o ‘di kulot, may trabaho at saka po ‘yung daan napaganda. Dati, ‘di ka makakasakay ng motor diyan. Ngayon kahit na gabi magmotor ka, pwede,” Capiz shares.
“Malaking pakinabang na dumating ang trabaho dito . Lahat po nagkatrabaho. Dati trabaho ko, ‘naggagapas ng cogon…nangunguha ng puso [ng saging] sa bundok tapos binebenta sa baba. Ngayon po may trabaho na,” she added.
Lourdes Rivera, is also grateful for her job as a gardener in New Clark City.
“Ang trabaho ko dito sir, nagtatanim ng bougainvillea, carabao grass at tsaka yung peanut….Dati walang trabaho, nagkakalap ng gulay na tinitinda namin sa bayan. Nagtatanim kami ng palay.”
When asked if she will come back again to watch the games, she said yes.
“Ngayon lang kami nakakita ng ganyan… mula noong bata pa ako,” Rivera added.
About 500 aetas were employed in New Clark City since development started.
BCDA holds regular dialogues with Capas local government and the communities to assure that they are part of the New Clark City development.
Financial assistance packages amounting to Php300,000 per hectare (or Php30.00/sq.m.) were made available to project-affected people. This is the highest compensation package provided by government, to project-affected people.
Further, relocation sites within New Clark City were also provided for those whose residential structures were affected.
BCDA worked with credible institutions such as the Asian Development Bank in masterplanning and ensuring the sustainability and inclusivity of New Clark City.