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Anna Mae Yu Lamentillo

Sep 29, 2021

What’s on Vince Dizon’s to-do list?

Secretary Vivencio “Vince” Dizon would probably be the best example of a multi-tasker, and an effective one at that. He wears many hats, so to speak, serving at the center of the government’s COVID-19 response and the “Build, Build, Build” program.

He is the current presidential adviser on flagship programs and projects, and the president and chief executive officer of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA). He is also the deputy chief Implementer of the National Action Plan Against COVID-19, the national government’s testing czar, and the chief coordinator of the Test, Trace, Treat (T3) Program. Moreover, he is the Chairman of the Subic-Clark Alliance for Development and the vice chairman of Clark International Airport Corporation.

Every day at work has been a challenge, Secretary Vince said, especially since the country grappled with the pandemic. You would often see him in the news giving updates on the government’s response against COVID-19. He is always on the go, attending important functions, inspecting various areas around the country, and speaking with leaders to ensure the smooth roll-out of the government’s vaccination program.

On top of all these, he has a tough task at the BCDA, which is mandated to convert former military lands into productive civilian use. It is guided by the vision of transforming these properties into inclusive and sustainable premier centers of economic growth in partnership with the private sector. BCDA’s developments include parts of Fort Bonifacio and Villamor Air Base, which are now known as Bonifacio Global City and Newport City, respectively.

In the first five years of the Duterte administration, BCDA, under the leadership of Secretary Vince, made a record-high contribution to the AFP of P17.81 billion. This is significantly higher than the P13.01 billion contributed during the six years of previous administration.

So far, BCDA has generated about 400,000 jobs; attracted more than 1,000 locators and registered some $4 billion of investments in its special economic zones; and reported a combined asset value of around $10 billion.

As part of “Build, Build, Build,” one of BCDA’s biggest undertakings is to transform the Clark Freeport and Special Economic Zone into the next big metropolis and major growth hub in the country. This is part of the Duterte Administration’s strategy to develop alternative growth areas outside Metro Manila.

Clark is divided into four main districts—Clark Freeport Zone, Clark Global City, New Clark City, and Clark International Airport. Its development is expected to attract even more investments and spur inclusive economic growth in Central Luzon and across the country.

For instance, the New Clark City, a 9,450-hectare greenfield development, will be the country’s first disaster-resilient, green and inclusive city. It is the home of the National Government Administrative Center (NGAC), a recovery and back-up hub for the government in times of disasters and emergencies.

Secretary Vince said Clark gives him so much pride. The BCDA Group, he said, is determined to make Clark a model development for the entire country. In fact, the new Clark International Airport terminal building has been named as one of the six airport finalists at the 2021 Prix Versailles World Architecture and Design Award; while the New Clark City Athletics Stadium has been shortlisted among the world’s best completed buildings at the 2021 World Architecture Festival.

Clark is also a favorite place of Secretary Vince when he goes cycling, which usually serves as his bonding time with his wife.

With still a lot of work to do, Secretary Vince hopes the pandemic will be over soon so government can fast track infrastructure projects under “Build, Build, Build.”

After the Duterte Administration, retirement will not be an option for a public servant as young as Secretary Vince. If given the chance, however, he wants to go back to the academe to teach again.

He served as an assistant professor of Economics, research associate, and lecturer of Economics and Finance at the De La Salle University, his alma mater. He completed his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Bachelor of Science degree in Commerce-Management of Financial Institutions at DLSU.

He was also a senior lecturer in Economics, Finance and Statistics at the University of Northern Virginia in Prague, Czech Republic from 2005-2007.

With so much learned over the years, this student of public service definitely has so much to teach.

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