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Clark airport proves gov't 'political will' -- Dominguez.

By Chino Leyco

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said the rollout of the Clark International Airport expansion project within the first 18 months of the Duterte presidency demonstrates the "strong political will of the government to get things done fast" for the benefit of the people.

Dominguez said that unlike the previous administration when one big-ticket project -- the Cavite-Laguna Expressway -- took all of 50 months from conception to the start of implementation, the infrastructure projects on the Duterte watch will commence over the next few months.

"This shovel ready project was approved in the first 18 months of the Duterte administration. It demonstrates the political will to get things done. This administration brooks no delay in building the projects that the people need and the public deserves," Dominguez said.

"The infra investments will underpin all efforts to build an economy truly beneficial to all Filipinos. They will drive our economic growth and disperse the fruits of modernization to areas outside Metro Manila," he added.

This venture is among the first big-ticket infra projects to be built using the Duterte administration's "hybrid" PPP (Public-Private Partnership) formula, in which the government starts the initial phase of the project's construction and later bids out the project to the private sector.

The Clark airport expansion project is listed as a "locally funded-Public Private-Partnership" project in the website.

Dominguez cited the importance of the project in completing the infrastructure network in Central Luzon, and capturing what the "Build, Build, Build" program aims to achieve, which is to put up a "coherent national logistics circuit" in support of rapid and inclusive growth.

He noted the Clark complex serves as the nexus of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX), North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) and the projected Tarlac-Nueva Ecija-Aurora Expressway (TNEAEX).

"The improvement of the passenger terminal will complete the synergy of all the infrastructure investments made in this region," Dominguez said.

"That captures what the 'Build, Build, Build' program aspires to achieve: A coherent national logistics circuit that will support our country's rapid and inclusive development," the finance chief added.

Dominguez said that following the start of the construction for the Clark airport passenger terminal, other "economically strategic projects" worth a total of R1 trillion under the Duterte administration's "Build, Build, Build" program are also scheduled to break ground soon enough.

"The NEDA (National Economic and Development Authority) has approved R1 trillion in infra projects as we speak today. We have planned for an expansive infra program that will require about R8 trillion by 2022," he said.

Designed to handle up to eight million passengers per year, the R12.55-billion Clark airport expansion project will complement the operations of the already congested Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

It will also serve as the second airport for Central and Northern Luzon, two of the fastest growing regions in the country today, Dominguez said.

Dominguez noted that unlike the NAIA whose expansion has become severely limited by urban sprawl, the Clark Civil Aviation Complex here spans 2,367 hectares, making it an ideal site to grow the country's airline servicing capabilities.

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Title Annotation:Shipping
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Dec 21, 2017
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