CDC Chairman Jose “Ping” de Jesus bares plans for the Clark’s upcoming development
Ariel Arcebidono responsesAugust 8, 2017
Clark Development Corporation (CDC) Chairman Jose “Ping” de Jesus presented Clark’s upcoming developments to the Clark Investors and Locators Association (CILA) in their second quarterly General Membership Meeting (GMM) held at Midori Hotel and Casino on July 26, 2017.
His presentation on Clark’s upcoming development was a progress report about this economic zone. He discussed an eight-point program, the highlight of which was the Freeport Zone’s infrastructure enhancement.
1. Clark Freeport Zone’s Geography
De Jesus revealed plans about the New Clark City, an urban center that would soon house all government offices including the president’s residence.
He also discussed the utility cost in Clark. As of now, Clark’s water supply capacity is pegged to 54 million liters per day (MLD) with a recharge rate of 62 MLD. This capacity exceeds the usual demand, which is limited to 32 MLD. CDC is expecting that within the next five years, the demand for water services will increase to 54 MLD; hence, the need to develop new water sources like Lake Marimla.
2. Telecommunication Companies and E-businesses
The country’s leading telecommunications companies expressed their desire to set up an electronic and data protection business inside Clark. They preferred Clark to other locations as it is safe from calamities like earthquake and flood.
PLDT is one of the first major telecommunications firms in Clark. Its Clarktel fiber services has a reach of 80 kms with a bandwidth capacity of 10Gbps. Another internet provider, Comclark, has a 97-kilometer aerial and 28-kilometer underground reach with the same bandwidth capacity of 10 Gbps.
Video link from Klipptv of CDC chairman on development of Clark
3. Ongoing Road Expansion Projects
CDC is adding a 20-kilometer new road to Clark’s existing lanes. This 20-kilometer new road is apportioned in M.A. Roxas (6.6 kms ), C.M Recto (2.4 kms), J. Abad Santos (3.5 kms), and Gil Puyat (6.8 kms).
CDC has allotted PHP 1.3 billion to improve Clark’s thoroughfares and to reduce travel time to 10 minutes. The recently completed Clark-Mabalacat-Angeles Road (CMAR) beside SM Clark, a six-kilometer bypass helps decongest road traffic in the cities of Mabalacat and Angeles.
4. Transportation Woes Addressed
Still on transportation concerns, CDC is working with transport groups to establish a 24-hour jeep service.
Presently, all existing routes have designated pick up and drop off points with adequate sheds on waiting areas. CDC will soon be preparing a transport master plan for Clark.
5. Upgraded Security
Security ranks first among CDC’s concerns. It wants investors to feel safe not only for themselves but also for their trades.
CDC has installed more than 100 close circuit television (CCTV) cameras all over Clark, and is planning to put up another 95 units next year.
CDC’s security groups has a standard response time of seven to ten minutes and is operating on an eight-hour shift. Its strength comes from 26 organic police officers and 142 blue guards.
CDC will hire 50 organic police officers this year, and its Public Security Department will soon be equipped by six 250-cc motorcycle units. CDC has also procured two brand new fire and rescue trucks. A fire truck with a 200-feet areal ladder and another one with foam capability is being procured.
Lastly, a security gate located in Friendship Village will be completed next month.
6. Tourist Destinations
In 2016 alone, there were two million tourists in Clark.
Clark Freeport Zone’s tourism is on its way to becoming synonymous with the Hot Air Balloon Fest and sports. It is now the Department of Tourism’s eighth tourist destination in the Philippines and is the top sports destination in 2016. It boasts of having the only 4D theater in Central Luzon.
Hotel and resort constructions are in full swing, with Mimosa Resort to be completed in 2021 and Sun Valley Clark’s Hilton Hotel (with 264 rooms) to be completed June next year.
7. Greater Job Opportunities
As for employment opportunities, there are about 7,900 vacancies in Clark as of July 2017. These vacancies are classified below as per industry type:
services/manpower – 3480
information technology-business process management (IT-BPM) – 2477
However, the talents’ lack of proficiency in English seems to be problem in filling up vacancies in call centers. Thus, CDC developed courses for advanced english proficiency, high speed sewing skills, and Specialized Training and Employment Program for the Underprivileged Persons (STEP-UP).
There is an ongoing business process outsourcing (BPO) readiness and language training at Clark Polytechnic in partnership with the provincial and other local government units (LGUs).
8. A New Master Plan Develops
With new and exciting projects for the Freeport Zone, the CDC commissioned Palafox Associates to prepare a new master development plan.
For the past few years, CDC transformed from a purely regulatory into a business facilitator role. It created a support unit in the Zone to shorten business processing time through an online application of permits. Issued permits has a three-year validity.
9. Build, Build, Build
In line with Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s “Build, Build, Build” program also known as Dutertenomics, CDC will eyes the creation of railways connecting Clark to Manila and Subic.
Through the Manila-Clark Railway, those coming from Metro Manila can reach Clark within one hour. The New Clark Airport Terminal will have a passenger capacity of 8 million per annum.
The Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) recently published an invitation to bid for its projects’ engineering design.
10. New Clark City
Lastly, CDC’s flagship project is the New Clark City. It is a rising metropolis with 9, 450 hectares, and is the first master planned urban center in the country.
It is envisioned to be a benchmark for an environmentally sound and industrial friendly city. The CDC is looking forward to a future where Clark is the country’s new capital.
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Ariel is a retired US Navy veteran. Was a Radio station manager at DWAU104.1FM at the Angeles University Foundation for 11 years. Wrote for the newsletter of the University called the AUFGAZETTE Ariel Arcebido