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CDC@25:

LAYING GROUNDWORK FOR THE FUTURE

By Peter Paul Duran

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LARK Development Corporation (CDC) may be celebrating its 25th anniversary this week, but the entity behind Clark Freeport Zone’s hasty rise in recent years has the future at the back of its mind.

Clark – which houses a 4,400-hectare main zone and a 27,600-hectare subzone, with a 9,450- hectare New Clark City next on the agenda, is a modern industrial estate situated in Pampanga, planned to be transformed into an airportdriven, urban center targeting high-end, IT-enabled industries, aviation and logistics-related enterprises, tourism and other Freeport-related projects. It now has a total of 949 locators and a total of $6.876B in exports as of December 2017. But the altitude where they right now did not come without turbulence and a shaky start. From a P1-million net income some two decades ago, CDC can now boast that for the first time in its history, the Billion-peso mark has been breached, all the more making its silver anniversary much sweeter. From Ashes to a Modern Freeport It wasn’t that easy for Clark. In 1991, Clark Air Base, home to the US 13th Air Force, was shut down after the eruption of Mount Pinatubo. The Americans left everything in haste and all that was left was an abandoned military base buried under tons of ash. Then came the fruition of CDC, which since then, had been recognized as the lawful backbone of the Clark Special Economic Zone (CSEZ) since its inception in 1993. Then, under the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the CSEZ was renamed Clark Freeport Zone (CFZ) by virtue of R.A. 9400. Rising from the Ranks “It’s a milestone year for us because it’s our 25th anniversary and I think there are good things that are happening in Clark right now,” said CDC President and CEO Noel F. Manankil. More than anyone, Manankil is best equipped to personify the rise of the government-owned and controlled corporation (GOCC), having started his career as a financial analyst for the Corporate Planning Department back in 1996.

When the Ramos administration hailed Clark as a manufacturing and logistics’ hub for local and foreign companies, CDC had a lot of expectations to live up to. Thanks to the men and women of the state-run company, including former and current ones, the CDC delivered. “The past administration and also the former presidents and heads really gave it a push. From the first management team up to the current management team, we have built on each other’s successes,” Manankil added. Making sure that the Clark Freeport Zone would be one of the modern Freeports in Asia, CDC had been able to attract foreign and domestic locators to invest into the Freeport, with an excellent, adept and coordinated Management Committee proving to be pivotal for this endeavor. Testament to this is the collaborative effort of their ManCom, which in true style, talked with the Manila Standard last Wednesday -- in full force -- to update us on the many exciting things in store for Clark. Current Numbers For CDC, there are three drivers to the growth in the Freeport: their capability to entice more locators; driving additional exports; and taking advantage of the airport’s potential that is indispensable to achieving economic and tourism growth. CDC noted that as of December 2017, they now have 108,000 workers compared to 93,467 employees in 2016. This

Clark Development Corporation ManCom composed of (from left) Engr. Alveen H. Tabag, VP-Engineering Services; Atty. Ramsey L. Ocaampo, Ph.D., VP-Security Services; Atty. Perlita M. Sagmit, VP-Legal Affairs; Noel F. Manankil, President/CEO; Evangeline G. Tejada, VP-Business Development and Business Enhancement Group; Noemi B. Garcia, Tourism & Promotions Division Head; Alizaido F. Paras, VP-Administration and Finance; and Anthony Emmanuel G. Tulabut, Communication Division Head. Peter Paul Duran

indicates a 16% growth from the previous year. Manankil shared as well that during the time when the American bases were still located in Clark, there were only about 20,000 Filipinos employed in Clark Freeport Zone. Now, there’s a full five-fold increase in jobs’ generation and economic windfall for residents of adjoining communities. “In terms of exports, we successfully recorded a 35% growth from 2016, which translate to an export value of US$6.9 Billion,” said Manankil. Introducing Aerotropolis as its Development Pilot The GOCC has confidence that they are now moving forward and as part of their development strategy, they are banking on Clark being the new “Aerotropolis of Asia.” True enough, CDC leans to the aviation and airport terminal sector as their anchor for Clark’s development. Although not part of CDC’s project, Manankil revealed that the construction of an additional terminal for the airport, which can hold 8 million people and host 500 flights a day, is a would-be monumental boost for the overall economic growth of the entire Freeport Zone Future Transportation Requirements Having an ‘aerotropolis’ on top of their development list and anticipating an influx of investment and visitors, CDC focused on building more infrastructure. Engineer Alveen Tabag, Next page


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CDC Vice President for Engineering Services, realizes the advantage that CDC is self sustaining--it enables the corporation to prioritize and implement projects sooner, with the support of the national government readily approving such infrastructure projects. “Last year, we spent around almost a billion and this year ang binigay sa aming budget is 1.8 billion worth of infrastructure projects, majority of which are roads and also tourism and sports facilities,” said Tabag, who is also busy devising a plan to enhance their Bus Rapid Transportation. “We are focusing on mass transportation because with 108,000 employees, it’s becoming an issue. There has to be a more efficient mass transit system,” added Manankil, who added that they are tapping the Local Government Units to help them ease traffic especially routes going in and out of the Freeport. 15-minute rule Tabag then added that their main infrastructure project is the improvement of its road network, while still maintaining Clark’s existing traffic situation, where a commuter can move from one place to another in just 15 minutes. “Fifteen minutes maximum. From work, you can go to the golf course can go to the mall, to the airport in 15 minutes. That is our promise,” Tabag said. Manankil added: “Unlike sa Manila na from just one block to another is 15 minutes (laughs).” CDC not only aims for a simple road widening as they strive to build infrastructure that people would normally see in a first-world setup. Hence, it will surely attract more tourists to visit in Clark. Boosting Tourism “We want (tourists) to stay for the night when they land in Clark, and then maybe

and Promotions Division Head, whose office is also promoting MICE events (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions) when they started with the MICE Convention in 2014. “We also entice mga sporting events like marathons, biking and triathlon events because the area is clean and it promotes a healthy lifestyle. The area is really fit for those kinds of events,” she added as for 2018 alone, there are 102 calendared events slated in Clark. “We’re embarking and looking more at the ecotourism adventure side of the area and we are working on this with the local government especially with Mabalacat city to promote Haduan falls,” added Garcia, who also showcased their one-of-a-kind Clark Museum and 4D Theatre. Security and Progress Go Hand-in-Hand Meanwhile, VP for Security Services Atty. Ramsey L. Ocampo, Ph.D shared that security must go abreast with the developments in terms of infrastructure, business and development. CDC installed new surveillance systems to improve their response system, as well as modernize their capability concerning personnel training in terms of equipment and modern tactics. “We are committed to the development of the business industry here as we are bent on recovering more land areas because we still have informal settlers here inside Clark. We are doing it humanely,” he said, while adding that a total of 180 CCTV cameras are installed inside Clark to monitor the city. “Those are the three main aspects of security, that’s why I believe the future is very bright for Clark,” Atty. Ocampo said. Only 1.7 crimes a month Peace and order isn’t a big issue to deal with inside Clark. So it’s safe enough (mind

try out other tourism destinations – we want that for Clark,” said VP for Business Development and Business Enhancement Group Evangeline G. Tejada. “Given that we have no natural resources, we’re making it for them.” CDC has been very vocal that they are also allotting a huge amount for tourism facilities. Knowing that they lack natural resources compared to other Freeports, the developer is more likely to build their own tourist spots, or just make Clark more attractive and cleaner. In 2016, Clark bagged the Sports Destination of the Year award, and they want to hold on to that title. To make this possible, they are putting up more adventure-type destinations that offer sports activities. “Part of our plans is the enhancement of our 20-hectare wide parade ground that is slated to accommodate sports events, including soccer, baseball and frisbee. CDC will develop various local parks, as well,” she added. Believing that with more attraction comes more tourists, the company holds to the concept that more hotel accommodations will result in more locator-driven investment on tourism. In fact, Tejada revealed that the Marriott Hotel will open in September, as well as the Hilton Hotel. In addition, another hotel built by all-Filipino investors will soon arise beside Aqua Planet. There could be a total of 5,000 rooms available for tourists, locators, and business travelers--a significant improvement from the current 2,300 rooms Clark offers right now. Widus Hotel and Casino’s P15-B expansion project for their Tower 4 started Friday and is seen to bolster the commercial industry in Clark. “Clark is starting to become one of the top destinations in the Philippines. In fact, Top Eight na siya,” said Noemi B. Garcia Tourism

the pun) to say that Clark is almost a “crimeless” city. According to Atty. Ocampo, they only recorded 20 petty crimes for the past 12 months! To support this, Tejada said that banks usually prefer not to employ security guards on weekends, as they are confident and comfortable that Clark is really secured. Emergency Response and Event Security CDC likewise highlights its emergency response and its disaster risk management as an integral part of making Clark more attractive to investors. Manankil reminisced that their experience with the Yokohama fire was an eyeopener even if it was declared fire out in three hours. With this, the company embarked on its modernization program in firefighting, search and rescue and security. Also known for the annual Philippine Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, CDC also suggests a reorganization to put a unit that will be purely dedicated to events in coordination with their tourism. CDC expressed that they don’t dwell too much in law enforcement, as they focus more on developing their assets that will keep Clark safe and in order. “It’s a mix of security, infrastructure, incentives and people. That I think would say is what made Clark successful, citing the parameters before at least for the last 25 years,” Manankil addressed. Rapid Economic Growth Alizaido F. Paras, Vice President for Administration and Finance, recalled their modest start 20 years ago when they made a meager “toothpick figure” in their P1-million net income. But now, they have remitted around P2.55 billion in cash dividends, while they recently declared a cash dividend of P700 million for 2017 that brings a total of around P3.25 billion in total dividends, which is more than the

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Filinvest Mimosa+ Leisure Cit�: Redefining the landscape of the north

Filinvest Mimosa+ is geared to enhance the business and leisure landscape in the North. rogressively adding value as it redefines the landscape of Clark, Pampanga is the newest premier destination in the north: the Filinvest Mimosa+ Leisure City, formerly Mimosa Leisure Estate. Sprawling at 201 hectares, it boasts of an integrated masterplan that seamlessly melds business and leisure into one impressive community.

P

TOWNSHIP ON THE RISE

BUSINESS HUB

Banking on Filinvest’s broad expertise in large-scale developments — with Filinvest City in Alabang and City Di Mare in Cebu serving as prime examples — it seeks to bring Mimosa to its full potential. Envisioned to become a balanced and eco-centric community, Filinvest Mimosa+ is setting the bar higher for innovative townships as it focuses on four components: leisure, business, residential, and nature.

With its prime location in the Clark Freeport Zone, Filinvest Mimosa+ also aims to provide investors and entrepreneurs a setting where they can grow and expand their business. Included in its enhanced masterplan is the 3.6-hectare office campus—aptly called Workplus—that features six mid-rise buildings with a total projected gross leasable area of over 100,000 square meters.

"We envision a metropolis that is future-ready and yet very much nature-inspired. With Mimosa’s rich history and through our redevelopment masterplan, we want Filinvest Mimosa+ to be the top of mind destination for tourism and commerce in Clark and in the north," says Filinvest Executive Vice President Catherine Ilagan.

Already, two impressive green office buildings—1 Workplus and 2 Workplus, both equipped with a retail area at the ground floor and advanced fiber optic facilities—are fully completed and are ready to welcome corporations that are looking to expand their business in Central Luzon.

ENRICHED LIFESTYLE Also setting Filinvest Mimosa+ apart

Artist's perspective of Filinvest Mimosa+ al fresco retail strip

is how nature, the inclusion of greenscapes, verdant flora, and open spaces, takes center stage in the redevelopment of the estate, most notable of which is the now existing Acacia Park, with its pavilions, sitting areas and water features. Complementing this are wide paths and bike lanes that make for a pedestrian, cyclist and eco-friendly community. Filinvest Mimosa+ also seeks to be the preferred home away from home in the north with a residential phase that will offer fine midrise buildings for long term living options. Currently,

The award winning Mimosa Golf Course

Mimosa+ boasts of being the choice destination for topnotch accommodation and MICE facilities through Quest Hotel and Conference Center – Clark, with its newly refurbished lobby, 303 guestrooms, two luxury Grand Villas that are the ultimate in posh living, the well-known Mequeni Restaurant and Charley’s Bar, a swimming pool and fitness center, plus eight fully equipped function rooms. Coming soon as well is an Events Pavilion that will feature an additional grand ballroom and meeting rooms designed to host world-class events—be it an intimate gathering, an exhibition, or large conferences. Tourists and residents in the region can also look forward to the development of a hub for shopping, dining, and events. The lifestyle mall and the retail strip will house the best retail stores and unique dining concepts while its own four-hectare Event Grounds will be a prime venue for some of the biggest events in the country.

ENTERTAINMENT CITY Recently, Filinvest Mimosa+ has secured a provisional license from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) for the development of a high-end casino. The upcoming casino is expected to not only help position the estate as a distinguished leisure and gaming destination in Pampanga, but to further increase employment, investment, and entrepreneurial opportunities up north as well. “Filinvest Mimosa+’s enviable location close to Clark International Airport makes it accessible to both domestic and international tourists. Now that we have secured the permit for the development of the casino, we foresee further upsurge in tourist arrivals upon completion of the various components,” notes Josephine Gotianun-Yap, president of Filinvest Development Corporation. “Visitors can look forward to Filinvest Mimosa+ Leisure City with its offering of topnotch casinos and boutiques, among others.”

Filinvest Mimosa+ features office buildings for businesses looking to expand in Clark,Pampanga.

To date, a plethora of exciting events, including the 31st ASEAN Summit, 7th Clark-Miyamit Falls Trail Ultra, the Pilipinas Duathlon 2018 Leg 1, and the Color Manila Paradise Run, have already been held at Filinvest Mimosa+, thereby heralding its rising position as venue of choice in the region.

The new Acacia Park located across Quest Hotel is a lush and open space for outdoor activities.

In Mimosa+, Filinvest is creating a township that drives growth and innovation as it adds to the quality of life in the north. Through the continuous enhancement of the Mimosa estate, Filinvest aims to elevate modern living in the region.

To learn more about the many exciting things that Filinvest Mimosa+ has to Not to be missed, of course, is the offer along with all coming 150-hectare Mimosa Golf Course, developments, visit its website at which has played host to a number of www.mimosaplus.com.ph. prestigious tournaments. The no membership required golf course is among the elements that maintain a strong base of returning guests of varying skillsets at Filinvest Mimosa+, serving as the centerpiece of the estate.


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required dividend by the law. “Rent income accounts for 90% of our total revenues and last year it was around P1.98 billion. Translated into net income, that accounts for 52% or around P1.03 billion in net income,” Paras explained. “That’s around 67 percent of our total net income for the last 25 years.” Meanwhile, CDC noted that different sectors are contributing to its economic growth and highlighted that all workers of CDC contribute to its progress, along with the government. On the other hand, income taxes play a key role in its progress, noting that they have more than a hundred thousand employees, citing the exponential factor that this creates. Moreover, Clark has become an alternative for locals instead

going to Manila or flying abroad, as they create opportunities for employment and businesses. Today, there are 5,000 job vacancies at the Clark Freeport Zone and CDC has teamed up with the local government units to conduct trainings for their constituents. One of the reasons why Clark is turning into an investment haven is because of its governance, too. Claiming that they are very strict with regard to corruption, Vice President for Legal Affairs Atty. Perlita M. Sagmit stressed that an automatic termination awaits a corrupt official, but they make sure that the case undergoes a legal process. “Even if there is only a hint of corruption, we look into that talaga and the repercussion is termination (if proven),” she explained.

The Future CDC knows that to turn Clark into a more modern industrial estate and premier service and logistic center, they need to have facilities for training, conferences, tourism and leisure in the Philippines. With that, infrastructure for these drivers has been laid out already. “In a nutshell, we are modernizing the place in areas that we have identified to be our priorities. In coordination and having support also from our parent company BCDA, we have secure infrastructure also benefitting the New Clark City,” Manankil said. This new endeavor from CDC and other stakeholders is a sprawling 9,450-hectare piece of prime real estate at a confluence of industry and agriculture, boasting of existing infrastructure and connectivity to Manila and the rest of the Philippines. NCC is poised to become the next big metropolis because of its strategic location. Merging with nature, the heart of New Clark City is proposed to be a central park with business district wrapped around it, coupled with magnificent views of the hills. It is served by public transport, housing and industries form the other layers. A network of open spaces forms the bond between diverse, mixed-use districts. CDC has successfully transformed a fledgling former military base into the billion peso-generating economic behemoth it is now today. The new Clark Green City is all but assured of the same path, nay, even more. Now with the whole of Asia rearing its head towards the irresistible enticement of the New Clark City, expect CDC, along with its hardworking officers and the support from BCDA, to realize this monumental opportunity with the same tenacity and effort its leaders have shown in the past 25 years, and through the next 25 years and beyond.


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By Angelica Villanueva and Charles Dantes

F

Stepping out of one’s

OR the past 25 years, the Clark Special Economic Zone has reached several milestones in terms of generating economic growth that spills over to its surrounding communities. With 949 locators, the Freeport was able to generate a total $ 6.876B in exports as of 4Q of last year.

This could not be possible without the various industrial and manufacturing companies driving Clark’s export capabilities to a record high. Some of these notable corporation include: 1.SFA Semicon PH – $3.074B 2.Texas Instruments-$1.83B 3. Nanox Philippines, Inc.-$1.06B 4. Yokohama Tire Philippines Inc.$223M 5. SMK Electronics (Phils.) Corp.$108M Other manufacturing companies boosting the growth are Sevencia Cheese Factory, La Rose Chocolate Factory, and O&G Leather Manufacturing Corp., together with existing ICT/ Services/Developers, such as Sutherland, Alorica, Iqor, FedEx, Scorp Phils, ePLDT. But the current thrust of the Clark Development Corporation, which oversees management of Clark, is to bolster its commercial and tourism attraction. At present, Clark has been known to hold colorful, fun and family-friendly events such as: Hot Air Balloon Fiesta Experience four days of flying the skies and colorful aviation with the Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta. Donning the tagline, ‘Weekend of Everything that Flies,’ the Hot Air Balloon Fiesta has been the target of many travellers trying to check off their bucket lists.

Color Manila Run and Sports Tourism Events Clark is the host of Color Manila Run in its last two races, with another one coming next year. CMR and CDC reached an agreement for an extension, according to Tourism and Promotions Division head Noemi B. Garcia, who believes Clark is a perfect choice for events like these, as the environment and facilities cater to events like running, biking and triathlon. Sports and Adventure Facility Sun Valley Golf Clark Pampanga’s exclusive 18th golf course is played at the Clark Sun Valley Golf and Country Club. It has provided slopes, bushes, and ravines to create a thrilling course for golfers. The clubhouse is not just notable for its challenging course, but also for its terrific views of natural attractions like streams and waterfalls. Besides that, it has a magnificent landscape and a panoramic view of Mount Pinatubo. Aqua Planet Everyone is going loco with this newly built water park at Clark, Mabalacat, Pampanga. Aqua Planet is slowly making waves among those who want to experience an extraordinary adventure, what with its water activities that everyone in the family will surely enjoy. During the summer, expect a surge of pool enthusiasts to visit Aqua Planet. There are over 25 over-the-top attracNext page

comfort zone at the Freeport Zone


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TRANSCONTAINER (TCL) PHILIPPINES, INC. “ A Leading Integrated Service Provider”

Please include full style office details of Pampanga Office (Bldg. 7585, Civil Aviation Complex, Diosdado Macapagal International Airport Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga)

CYAN MAGENTA YELLOW BLACK

tions in this 10-hectare park, with extraordinary and favorite spots being the Super Bowl, Flow Rider, Tornado, Octopus Racer, Mermaid Bay, Lazy River, and Boogie Bay. They also have a wave pool and different areas to explore and hang out. To cater to the growing number of tourists, business travellers and adventureseekers, Clark has an upcoming hotel, MICE and other facilities in tow to address these needs. Marriott Hotel by Widus Hotel & Casino It will add additional 236 rooms with a completion date slated 4Q this year. This is part of Widus’ P15-B expansion project for their Tower 4 and is seen to bolster the commercial industry in Clark. Hilton Hotel Developed by Sun Valley Clark, this hotel will have 268 additional rooms, expected to be finished late this year. Mirej Clark Medal Consortium Incorporated is the body involved in the completion of two projects that will add a total of 200 rooms, with the first 100 rooms expected to rise in fourth quarter of 2019, with the remaining 100 rooms to be finished in the same quarter of 2020 Royce Clark The Royce Clark by Royce Hotel and Casino, which will put up 700 additional rooms, is the biggest upcoming project to

date. Completion of this project is during the second quarter of 2021. The Sharp Hotel and Sharp Hills Condos The 508 units of the hotel and condo building will be ready for the public in the fourth quarter of 2021. Other upcoming projects coming to Clark in the near future are: Mimosa by Filinvest With the successful bid for the privatization of the former Mimosa Leisure Estate in Clark Freeport Zone, Filinvest Development Corp. (FDC) is now poised and ideally located to develop the estate and be a key tourism player in the northern region. Clark Safari This could be Clark’s answer to Zoobic Safari, while Luminous Bike Path & Bike Hub is a planned project to promote healthy and active lifestyle through ecofriendly biking for the people at the Clark Freeport Zone. With all the attractions now readily available to tourists local and international alike, together with business travellers and adventure seekers, a state-of-theart mass transport system is essential for easier access to all the activity destination inside Clark Freeport Zone. Hence, the CDC is investing on building a Bus Rapid Transit Terminal.


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Clark Development Corp. kicks off   its 25th anniversary celebration

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LARK FREEPORT— The 25th anniversary of Clark Development Corporation kicked off Monday with flag-raising ceremonies and a motorcade from this Freeport to the Cities of Angeles and Mabalacat in Pampanga.

Proclamation 80, which was signed by then President Fidel V. Ramos, designated the CDC as the implementing arm of Clark Special Economic Zone under the Republic Act 7227—the Bases Conversion Act. The proclamation was signed on April 3 following the twin devastation wrought by the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in June 1991 and the eventual pull out of the 13th US Air Force at the former Clark Air Base in Pampanga. Aside from the flag-raising and motorcade, CDC has also prepared other events to commemorate the silver anniversary of the state-owned firm from being a desolated former US military base into one of the prime investment destinations in Asia today. On April 6, CDC will hold a tree-planting event inside the Freeport, fun walk on April 13, and film showing on April 16-17. On April 20, CDC will hold its anniversary celebration which will coincide with the service recognition of employees who have reached five years, 10 years, 15 years and 25 years. And on April 27, the state-owned firm will have its annual jobs fair, where close to 100 companies here are expected to participate. The Freeport is currently host to 949 locators and more than 108,000 employees.

CDC breaches P1B net income as it celebrates Silver Year

CLARK FREEPORT— For the first time in its 25th year of existence, Clark Development Corporation (CDC) was able to breach P1 billion net income since the state-owned firm became the government’s implementing arm for this Freeport. CDC was created in 1993 to transform and develop the former US military base into a premier economic hub after the devastation brought about by the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991. Through strategic management, CDC has become one of the highest-earning government corporations in the country. For 2017, it reached an unprecedented net income of P1.03 billion and made Clark as one of the major investment destinations in the country and Asia today. The figure is a 32 percent increase from the 2016 net income of P783 million. Likewise, from 1993 to 2016, CDC was able to remit cash dividends of more than P2.55 billion to the National Treasury. In a recent report to the CDC Board of Directors, President Noel F. Manankil, said that the net income for 2017 alone represented 27 percent of the P3.801 billion income generated for the first 24 years of CDC’s operations. He attributed the unprecedented financial performance of CDC to the support of locators, investors, national leadership, the BCDA, CDC Board and stakeholders of Clark. Manankil said that CDC posted a 20 percent growth in its gross revenues for 2017, earning P 1.98 Billion compared to 1.64 Billion in 2016. CDC only had a total revenue of P16.37 billion from 1993 to 2016. Also, in its 25th year, growth on export value inside the Freeport has surged to $6.87 billion, a 35 percent upturn from the end of 2016 which was recorded at $5.08 billion. While citing the increase of the export volume, Manankil also mentioned that there was also a growth in the number of locators inside the Freeport. At present, there are 949 locator-firms in Clark. Some of the locators include industry leaders and renown global companies like Yokohama Tires, Texas Instruments, Samsung, Nanox, Premier Central Inc (SM), Foton, Mercedes Benz, among others. With the increase of 54 locators at the end of 2017, employees inside the Freeport also reached more than 108,000 workers. During the heydays of American troops at the former Clark Air Base, the employment peaked to only about 20,000 workers in their over 50-year stay at the military facility. Committed to its mission of creating more productive economic activities, CDC, in commemoration of its 25 years, will continue to generate employment and investments for the country.


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As Clark economy booms:

Mabalacat welcomes changes, development

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HEN the doors opened for us at the Mayor’s Office of Mabalacat, it was apparent that this city seat was different from other government offices. The room was teeming with constituents, all there with varied reasons, but with only one purpose: talk with the amiable father of the city. Now the same could not simply be said with most mayor’s offices across the country, where to talk vis-a-vis, nay, even come near the desk of the highest leader in a city is all but a meek possibility. In a long table lined with paperwork he meticulously reads one by one, sits Mayor Crisostomo “Cris” Garbo or “MCG” to the people of Mabalacat, who had endeared to him even if he has yet to reach a full year at the helm of Pampanga’s third city. Last week, Manila Standard had the chance to talk with MCG but not before he resolved yet another issue of his fellow Mabalaqueño- one down of the many more lined up outside. “We’re just focused on changes here,” said Garbo, and changes indeed were in tow--and realized--in only a short span of time since assuming office when the Commission on Elections en banc decided in favor of him after former Mayor Marino Morales’ certificate of candidacy was canceled by the commission. Having had the second highest number of votes during the 2016 general elections, the former Pampanga First District Board Member was proclaimed by COMELEC as Mayor on June 27 of last year. Now, MCG is steadfast in providing solutions to basic services like garbage collection, traffic management and beautification of public places that have been found wanting in recent years. Backed by a team of appoin-

tees and consultants, with expertise from legal, change management, culture and tourism, heritage architecture, traffic and public safety, urban planning and business and investment, the Garbo administration stems its service from nine pillars. These pillars include: Equal Access to Education; Excellent Healthcare; Economic Development; Better Employment Opportunities; Culture and Heritage Awareness; Strong Moral Values of Citizenry; Protection of Environment; Promotion of Peace and Order and; Integration of Science and Technology in Governance and Delivery of Services. In just his first two months of office as mayor, he was able to empower the programs for health with services that cater to the indigent residents of the city. Mayor Garbo, likewise, aims to develop not only the programs for health, but also for education, gender and development, livelihood and infrastructure projects. Having had some medical background, Garbo has prioritized medical and health provision programs at the top of his list, putting up a Central Pharmacy worth P15 million with seven city health officers helping man the facility converted from a part of the mayor’s office. The physicians and 18 total specialists include two general surgeons, an orthopedic surgeon, two ophthalmologists, a nephrologist for dialysis patients, and an oncologist for the city’s cancer patients, all taking turns proving free check-ups. Moreover, Mayor Garbo also spearheaded the augmentation of

the facilities and equipment of the city, resulting in new rescue vehicles, garbage and fire trucks, and two coasters. This goes to show how well the city’s 2018 General Fund of P1.477-B, half of which is the GIE (gross income earned) from Clark locators, has been fully utilized to serve its purpose for the citizenry in terms of General, Economic, and Social Services. In truth, Mabalacat, which houses 96% of the Clark Special Economic Zone and its residents composing 60-70% of Clark’s workforce, reaps the full benefit of having an economic zone right on their front lawn, so to speak. This leads Mayor Garbo to lead future programs focused on maximizing this leverage. “We are now focusing on turning Mabalacat as a residential hub,” added Garbo, who also sees the fast-paced development of the New Clark City as a positive boost. With the influx of huge land development companies cashing on the vast potential of this prime real estate, Garbo also puts emphasis promoting the local tourism of Mabalacat to entice more tourists apart from the attractions inside the Freeport zone, especially the Haduan Falls in Sitio Haduan. Being a native of Mabalacat, Garbo shares he was born in the baranggay where the very same plot of land the new city hall stands. This tells you that the man really has genuine care for his own people, clearly showing in his actions and programs for Mabalaqueños. After his quick chat with Manila Standard, it was off to the paperwork for the 25-year veteran of public service. Another batch of constituents came in, but it doesn’t seem to reduce the mayor’s enthusiasm even if the line would most definitely be finished well into the late afternoon. He doesn’t mind anyway. First one in, last one out. Peter Paul Duran

Clark Development Corp @ 25  
Clark Development Corp @ 25