Angeles City—Mayor Carmelo “Pogi” Lazatin Jr. said former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will further develop the potential of the Clark Freeport Zone as a major growth corridor in Southeast Asia.
This was after President Rodrigo Duterte appointed Macapagal-Arroyo as Presidential Adviser on Clark Programs and Projects, a move widely welcomed by Pampanga government officials and businessmen.
Lazatin said Macapagal-Arroyo during her presidency was behind the development of the growth corridor in Central Luzon comprising the international airport of the Clark Freeport Zone and the deep-sea port of Subic Freeport Zone.
“One of the lingering legacies of Macapagal-Arroyo was the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) that linked the growth centers of Clark and Subic,” according to Lazatin.
Under the Macapagal-Arroyo administration, the Philippines government successfully negotiated an increased seat entitlement with various countries which enabled Clark International Airport to allow the entry of more local and foreign airlines.
“This ongoing development in the Philippines aviation sector is still being felt up to this day with the entry of foreign airline operators in Clark such as Emirates Airlines and Qatar Airways,” said Lazatin.
Key components of the government’s economic development such as the establishment of road networks, airports, seaports, and farm-to-market roads had been put in place in areas encompassing Clark Freeport Zone and Subic Freeport Zone.
Macapagal-Arroyo had envisioned what she described “Super Regions” during her presidency investing in vital infrastructure such as the SCTEX which according to her is the backbone of a modern nation.
“The Angeles City government supports Macapagal-Arroyo with her plans for the further development of the Clark corridor,” said Lazatin.
In a statement, Macapagal-Arroyo said: “In this time of pandemic and the worst global recession in nearly a century, the rapid harnessing of the Clark-Subic service logistics corridor for jobs, investments and inclusive development is indispensable for national recovery.”
“This is an immense undertaking that was one of my priority thrusts during my presidency, and I am grateful to President Rodrigo Duterte for his trust in empowering me to provide advice on this economy-boosting initiative once more.
“Let us join hands with government and business movers and shakers to turn Clark into Asia’s economic powerhouse in the 2020s.”