Wednesday, December 20, 2017

DOTr, BCDA Start Building New Terminal at Clark Airport

Wazzup Pilipinas!

The construction of the New Terminal Building at the Clark International Airport has finally been set into motion.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr), Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA), Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC), and the Clark Development Corporation (CDC) led the groundbreaking and capsule-laying at the airport grounds early today. The ceremony marks the start of finally expanding and developing what would be Asia’s next premier gateway.

“It’s quite sad that it took this long. The last six or seven years, things didn’t move. But we forget about the past. That’s water under the bridge, because now we move forward,” said BCDA President and CEO Vince Dizon.

Spanning around 100,000-sqm including landside and airside facilities, the new terminal is designed to accommodate an additional eight million passengers every year. It is expected to decongest the Ninoy Aquino International Airport terminals, as well as spread development in the peripheries.

Part of a bigger picture

The expansion of the Clark airport is part of a bigger development plan for North and Central Luzon. Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said that the new terminal will complement other infrastructure projects in the area: Manila-Clark Railway, Subic-Clark Cargo Railway, and the New Clark City.

“Ikakabit po natin ang proyektong ito sa Manila-Clark Railway. Not later than 06 January 2018, we will mobilize the construction of the first segment from Tutuban to Malolos, and hopefully we will complete the entire line to Clark before the end of President Duterte’s term,” Tugade said.

Dizon, a proud son of Pampanga, is also confident that the new terminal will encourage more people to fly from Clark.

“Before Duterte, there were only seven flights from Clark. Now, there are 200 flights from Clark, and that happened in the first year of the administration. That is political will of a President from Mindanao, who said as early as the campaign, that we need to develop Clark,” Dizon said.

Upon assumption into office, Tugade likewise encouraged airlines to launch more flights from Clark in order to decongest NAIA. He also transferred some general aviation activities there.

Turning dreams into reality

Tugade, who was a former president of the CDC, expressed his joy upon seeing a long-delayed project come into fruition.

“Matagal na ho ang proyektong ito. Yung mga pakiusap naming dati naitapon sa mga binging tenga. Pero ngayon, binibigyan natin ang katuparan ang matagal nang pangarap ng ating mga kababayan na magkaroon ng world-class international airport,” he added.

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, himself a former transportation secretary, also echoed Tugade’s sentiments. He also expressed his excitement over the many opportunities that the new terminal will be bringing to the Philippines.

“The expansion of the Clark International Airport will expand growth and opportunity outside Metro Manila. This means more business and more jobs for everyone. Clark airport will be the gift that keeps on giving,” he said during the ceremony.

Senator Dick Gordon, who played a vital role in establishing Freeport zones in Luzon, is pleased to finally see the airport being fully-utilized, calling it “a new beginning for our country.”

“Infrastructure is not a project of a government. It is a project of the people. It is a project of vision. This is about opportunity, the great equalizer. This is about making the future our friend,” he said.

On-time delivery of projects

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, who represented the economic team of the Cabinet, assured that the delivery of the terminal will not be delayed.

“Before, projects take an average of 30 months under PPP. I assure you that this will not happen in the infrastructure projects of the Duterte administration,” Dominguez said.

He also reported that the Clark expansion project is considered the fastest to be implemented by the national government. It broke ground just six months after getting the NEDA Board approval.

The construction of the new terminal is the first hybrid project under the BuildBuildBuild Infrastructure Program of the Duterte administration. Under the hybrid model, the government will build the infrastructure using its own funds to ensure fast delivery of the project.

Former President and now Representative of Pampanga Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, whose term saw the building of the CIA, was the special guest at the groundbreaking ceremony

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