The new headquarters of the Philippine Marine Corps (PMC) will soon be constructed in a 100-hectare lot of the Bataan Technology Park (BTP) in Morong town which is being administered by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA).
Maj. Gen. Ariel Caculitan, PMC Commandant, Philippine Navy (PN) Vice Commander Maj. Gen. Nestor Herico, and BCDA Officer-in-Charge and Chief Executive Officer lawyer Aristotle Batuhan led the groundbreaking ceremony for the P28-billion development inside the Bataan industrial complex last Thursday, Nov. 4.
“The Philippine Marine Corps is excited for this much-awaited groundbreaking ceremony and looks forward to building our new headquarters at the Bataan Technology Park. We see the strategic value of this area and confirm that it offers a conducive place especially that we are in the midst of strengthening our Archipelagic Coastal Defense strategy,” Caculitan said.
The first phase of the development project worth P7.5 billion is set to be completed in 2024.
It is composed of three site development and construction packages which are now under various stages of procurement through competitive bidding.
The first package mainly involves security and utility facilities while the second package consists of a detention facility, a retraining battalion facility, liaison office, billeting, and other operations and support structures for the Marines. The third package includes the PMC headquarters, a communication tower, residential areas, and other support facilities.
With the transfer of the Marines to an upgraded and strategic location, income-generating opportunities will be opened up for the government in the soon-to-be vacated headquarters in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.
The Marines currently occupy a 12.46-hectare headquarters in Bonifacio South Pointe.
Unlike its current headquarters in Metro Manila where operations are hindered by traffic and congestion, Caculitan said the Bataan location was deemed ideal for the Marines as it “would help expedite emergency response and ease deployment of troops.”
The new headquarters will also feature modern, state-of-the-art facilities to ensure more efficient operations, he noted.
“We thank the BCDA, the local government, and the people of Bataan for accommodating us here,” Caculitan said.
Meanwhile, Batuhan hopes that the new Marines headquarters “will go a long way” in enhancing the operational effectiveness and responsiveness of the troops.
The groundbreaking ceremony formed part of the pre-anniversary celebration of the PMC which will reach its 71st year on November 7.
“We are laying the foundation not just for the future home of the Corps, but for the Marines’ continued modernization despite the COVID-19 [coronavirus disease] pandemic. BCDA is honored to support the men and women of the Corps despite these trying times so they may serve and protect our countrymen,” he said.
Last Aug. 5, the Department of National Defense (DND) and BCDA signed a memorandum of agreement for the replication of the Philippine Navy’s existing facilities at Bonifacio South Pointe inside Fort Bonifacio and the Navy Village also in Taguig City.