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Can the Philippines be a first-world country by 2050?

Palafox Associates believes so

Palafox Associates has a goal of helping the Philippines become a first-world country by 2050. IMAGE FROM PALAFOX ASSOCIATES

Palafox Associates has launched “Philippines 2050: A First-World Country, a First-World Economy.” The architectural firm celebrated its 35th anniversary at the Rockwell Club, while promoting its campaign for the Philippines to be one of the leading economies by the year 2050.

Architect Felino ‘Jun’ Palafox Jr. PHOTO BY PATTY MORATO-ROA

Spearheaded by one of the country’s most respected and multi-awarded urban planners, Architect Felino “Jun” Palafox Jr., the advocacy aims to move the country forward—one smart city at a time.

Just some examples of the structures designed by Palafox. PHOTOS BY PATTY MORATO-ROA

This not only means better infrastructure, but also better and more efficient transportation systems that will especially cater to the most populous areas of the country.

The plan to build “sustainable, smart, and resilient cities” is the main thrust of the company’s advocacy as it marks 35 years of planning and developing some of the most impressive and efficient structures and townships in over 40 countries all over the world.

Dubai is one of those countries that have undergone a massive transformation. PHOTOS BY PATTY MORATO-ROA

What the city of Dubai is today is one of the milestones achieved by the firm’s founder in the late 1970s. The barren desert land was “a hundred years behind the Philippines,” Palafox recalls, but is now one of the most beautiful cities in the world. “They are now probably 100 years ahead of us.”

A few visions for places like San Juan City, Clark Freeport, Davao, and Real (Quezon). IMAGES FROM PALAFOX ASSOCIATES

The Goldman Sachs Group, as well as HSBC, projects that the Philippines will place 16th in the world’s top economies. The architectural firm has formed collaborations at both local and national levels, as well as with private stakeholders in order to move the vision along.

Proper urban planning is not all about adding more lanes for cars. PHOTO BY PATTY MORATO-ROA

Transport system development has been placed at the forefront of the plan for the country, to go hand-in-hand with land expansion and progress.

Oftentimes in the past, the concept of integrating proper transportation system and efficient mobility into the master infrastructure plan is overlooked. Palafox describes forming “seamless connectivity from north to south, and east to west, across modes of transport.”

Proper forms of public transportation and infrastructure are key to alleviating congestion. IMAGES FROM PALAFOX ASSOCIATES

Giving other mobility options such as world-class ferry, bus, and railway systems is an essential part of the master plan in order to provide convenience and better accessibility for commuters to get from point A to point B.

These various options for travel will correspondingly alleviate congestion in populous cities. Provisional stops for uniquely Filipino modes of transport (such as jeepneys and pedicabs) are also included in the thrust for building efficient urban spaces.

Patty Morato-Roa

Patty had an early career as a TV and print model. She was also immersed in the motoring world at a young age having spent her childhood around annual car shows. She has worked as an editorial assistant, and dabbles in photography as well. She’s a wife of an avid motorcycle rider and a mom of two.