LUBAO—Pampanga’s capitol will return to the province’s old capital of Bacolor due to massive development, traffic and flooding, Gov. Lilia Pineda declared Sunday.
Pineda said the seat of the provincial government in Barangay Sto. Niño in the capital City of San Fernando is now very progressive, forcing a return to the old site on Jose Abad Santos Avenue in Barangay San Isidro, Bacolor.
The site is the boundary between Bacolor and the capital city in front of King Royals restaurant on JASA, formerly the Gapan Olongapo Road.
The eight-hectare land is owned by Pampanga Sugar Mill Development Corp. (Pasudeco) in Barangay San Isidro, which the provincial government expropriated.
With a price tag of P800 million, the new seat of the province or “Casa Real” includes the development of integrated terminals, parks, a convention center, and business stalls for the medium and small entrepreneurs operating in the provinces and a display area for other products of the province for both local and foreign tourists.
The construction is targeted to start in 2017 and end in 2019. The provincial government has a reserve fund of P2 billion mostly from quarry fees. The province earns P20 million a day from quarry fees alone from about 5,000 - 7,000 trucks hauling sand and gravel to and from Metro Manila and Northern Luzon, according to Pineda. The sand better known in the construction industry as Porac white sand will last up to 500 years, she added.
The old provincial building will be converted into a cultural center, a library, and a display center of Pampanga cultural relics and historical items.
Pineda told the Manila Standard that the seat of the province was forced to return to its old site because the capital city Among the vast developments in San Fernando are the ongoing multibillion-peso project of Andrew Tan in Barangay Sto. Niño, conversion of a former 35-hectare sugar mill into a city within the city, the development of the Azure six towers urban resort residences by Century Properties,,and the development of Paskuhan Village into another mall by SM Prime Holdings.
The mill project engineers and architects of the property developer recommended that the project be built three to five feet higher than the city road.
Pampanga has a total land area of 2,002.20 square kilometers and a population of 2,198,110 as of 2015. It was the first province in Luzon.
Bacolor was declared twice as first capital of Pampanga by the Spanish authorities in 1574 until San Fernando became its new capital in 1904. Its original name is “Baculud” but it is also known as Villa de Bacolor.