PamCham: Develop regional growth centers

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Thursday, February 20, 2014


CLARK FREEPORT -- The Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (PamCham), under the leadership of chairman emeritus Levy Laus and president Jim Jimenez, has called on national government leaders to develop regional growth centers to decongest Metro Manila.

This was aired during the chamber’s 43rd General Membership Meeting and Induction of New Officers, dubbed Decongest Metro Manila For Country’s Sake. Develop Countryside Growth Center, at the Holiday Inn Clark yesterday.

PamCham shared the proposal of Architect Felino “Jun” Palafox Jr., a world-renowned urban planner, who acted as guest of honor and speaker during the event.

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Palafox lauded the campaign of PamCham on regional development saying this will entice other regions and areas in the country to follow suit.

He said that regional growth centers like the City of San Fernando and Angeles City should have direct links with Metro Manila.

He also cited the need to develop smart communities that adapt to environment particularly on climate change.

“Our communities and roads should be walkable and bikable,” he said.

Palafox at the same time stressed the viability of Clark as an aerotropolis which will drive the development of Central Luzon.

Future development areas will be airport-driven, according to him.

During his speech, Jimenez cited the strategic location of Pampanga which makes the province a potential investment and tourist destination.

Laus lauded the PamCham members for their contribution in the organization and in the development of province. He said the PamCham membership is rapidly growing with 498 member firms as of yesterday.

He added that PamCham reiterated its position that Metro Manila should be decongested for the country’s sake.

He cited the recent disasters including Typhoon Yolanda and the killer earthquake that killed thousands of Filipinos.

“We are all victims of these calamities and we should do something about it,” Laus said.

He said that the traffic congestion in Metro Manila cost the people and government time and resources.

“Director Renato Solidum of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology challenged us to be prepared to natural calamities,” Laus said.

Architect Andy Gulapa, a former president of the United Architect of the Philippines lauded Palafox saying he is one of the world’s greatest urban planner because of his futuristic designs and care for the environment.

Lawyer Raul Lambino, City of San Fernando Mayor Edwin Santiago, Angeles City Vice Mayor Vicky Vega, and other officials graced the PamCham event.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on February 21, 2014.

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