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QC BIGGEST WINNER IN GREEN CITIES PROGRAM -CASTELO

“To be sure, this is one big step towards becoming a world-class society.”

This according to Quezon City Rep. Winston ‘Winnie’ Castelo who recently welcomed the announcement of the Department of Budget Management (DBM) that it will launch a program to turn places greener in the cities of Metro Manila and other parts of the country.

Castelo, chairman of the House Committee on Metro Manila Development, said he is most elated by the fact that the “Green, Green, Green” program of the Duterte administration has a budget of P2.5 billion, utilization of which shall be divided by the cities in the country based on their population count and size of land area.

“If such is the case, then Quezon City would be the biggest gainer of this program being the largest city and most populated locality in the country,” Castelo said.

Based on figures of the local government, Castelo said Quezon City has an area of 161.126 square kilometres or 16,112 .8 hectares and a population of a little more than 3 million as of 2014.

“Quezon City is more than four times the size of Manila, nearly six times the expanse of Makati, and more than 14 times bigger than Mandaluyong. It is almost one-fourth the expanse of Metro Manila,” Castelo explained.

Quezon City is more than four times the size of Manila, nearly six times the expanse of Makati, and more than 14 times bigger than Mandaluyong.  It is almost one-fourth the expanse of Metro Manila.

“Records also show it is the most populated city in the country. It accounts for 23.3% of Metro Manila’s total population with an annual growth rate of 2.42%. So, clearly, Quezon City is the biggest winner in this program,” Castelo added.

Around 145 cities in the archipelagpo are expected to benefit from the plan which the DBM described as a unique assistance program that aims to make the country’s 145 cities more livable and sustainable through the development of public open spaces.

The DBM said the “Green, Green, Green” program is a component of the Duterte administration’s massive national infrastructure development program, “Build, Build, Build”.

A total of PhP 2.5 billion has been appropriated for the program in the 2018 national budget. The allocation for each city was computed based on their respective population counts and land area measurements.

“Green, Green, Green” will help city governments create forest parks, arboretum, and botanical gardens; improve livability of urban areas through various activities and methods such as landscaping, turfing, and tree planting; and transform streetscapes through installation of eco-friendly street furniture, fixtures, and shading.

In addition, the city governments will increase connectivity and accessibility of public open spaces by creating bike lanes and walkways, and enhance sustainability through the construction of green infrastructure like bioswales and pervious surfaces, which aid during rainy season and flooding.

“This mission is a clear testament to the Duterte admnistration’s balanced view and approach of urban development which will benefit many generations to come,” Castelo concluded.

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