President Marcos inaugurated the new terminal building of the Clark International Airport in Pampanga Wednesday, saying it was “another building block” toward turning the Philippines into the logistics center of Asia.
“We need this, we need more,” the President said. “We have many plans for the airport in Manila (and) we have many plans for the airports surrounding Manila.”
He said that while some airports such as those in Bulacan and Cavite were already being built, other existing facilities in the regions must already be open.
“Let’s not compel everyone to go through Manila,” he said in Filipino. “So they can go direct to Bohol, direct to Cebu, direct to Cagayan de Oro, and direct to Davao, so they no longer have to pass through Manila.”
Marcos said the new airport terminal signaled the country’s commitment to business and more investments.
The Office of the Press Secretary said the 110,000 square-meter building at Clark airport, which can accommodate about 8 million passengers yearly, aims to decongest the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
“It is state-of-the-art, and this is one of the things that we will continue to do in the future to bring you all to come and be partners with the Philippines to help the lives of our people, to help the Philippine economy,” Marcos said.
“This facility is essentially a very strong signal that yes, indeed, we are open for business,” the President said.
“The Philippines is an ideal place to invest and the government is ready to go the extra mile to nurture strong partnerships with potential investors wanting to put their money in the country,”Marcos said.
“We are probably the most vibrant economy in Southeast Asia, and we understand the requirements and the needs of our potential investors, and we will do everything so that that partnership becomes to the advantage of… the private sector, the public sector, and the people,” Marcos said.
Marcos said he was confident that the new passenger terminal and other public-private partnership (PPP) projects would encourage more investors to do business in the Philippines.
He also renewed his commitment to ensuring that the government would do everything so that partnerships are to the advantage of the public sector, the private sector, and the people.
“This is a perfect example of what the government and the private sector can do,” he said. “I think it will serve to encourage other people to enter into this kind of arrangement.”
Citing his working visit to the US last week, Marcos recalled how he invited American investors to take part in the Philippines’ economic resurgence.
He also acknowledged how some businesses and investments had to be put on hold due to the COVID-19 health crisis, but noted that the country is now slowly recovering from the impact of the pandemic.
Marcos emphasized the importance of terminal building operations in providing opportunities in the areas of employment, investment, and tourism.
He lauded both the national and local government agencies concerned for spearheading the terminal’s construction.
“We have to give credit to the government agencies, the local government, BCDA [Bases Conversion and Development Authority], the Department of Transport (DOTr), of course, for all that they have done,” he said.
He said he was not taking credit for the project, but recognizing its importance to the economy.
Joining the President during the event were First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos, Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia-Frasco, Transport Secretary Jaime Bautista, BCDA chairperson Delfin Lorenzana, Luzon International Premier Airport Development (LIPAD) chairperson Frederick Go, and other officials.
The airport terminal was the first hybrid PPP project under the “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program of the Duterte administration.
In January 2021, the DOTr and the BCDA turned over the new airport terminal to LIPAD Corporation, its operations, and maintenance partner.