Hundreds of workers displaced by Clark GGLC project row

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Thursday, August 7, 2014


CLARK FREEPORT -- Hundreds of workers were affected following a dispute between two entities handling the development of the Global Gateway Logistics City (GGLC) inside the Freeport.

Officials of Peregrine Development International, Incorporated (Peregrine) disclosed that some 180 officers, staff and laborers and about 500 construction workers were laid off after the Global Gateway Development Corporation (GGDC) stopped funding the project.

Jeff Pradhan, Peregrine’s Vice-President for Sales and Marketing, said that GGLC had 374 direct and 1,101 indirect employees as of May 2014, a month after the GGDC stopped to release funds based on completion percentage or schedule of work inside the logistics center.

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The GGLC, which is constructed and managed by Peregrine, is considered as a “flagship project” of the Philippine government. It is owned by the GGDC, which is funded by Kuwaiti investors led by KGL.

GGLC is a 177-hectare property inside the Clark aviation complex and was named after King Sabah Al Ahmad of Kuwait.

The construction of The Medical City, which is also being handled by Peregrine, was hampered because of the dispute.

The hospital is supposed to be inaugurated before the APEC summit early next year, it was learned. President Aquino graced the hospital’s ground breaking ceremony in December 2010.

The Engineering, Procurement, Construction, and Management Services Agreement (EPMC) granted Peregrine exclusive rights to develop the GGLC and obliged GGDC to provide funding for the project.

Pradhan claimed that GGDC deviated from the contract provided for under the EPMC.

The KGL and the Kuwaiti investors promised to complete the roads, drainage, power and water utility infrastructure in three years, according to Pradhan. To date, only one building has been constructed and the rest of the property is idle, he said.

Local officials and businessmen around the Freeport expressed alarm over the issue saying this is a major embarrassment for Clark, the Philippines and the King of Kuwait.

The GGLC is supposed to create at least 200,000 jobs starting in 2008, he added.

The construction inside the GGLC, including the TMC building, has stopped since the first week of June.

Peregrine officials suspected that the KGL allegedly sold the GGLC project to another entity.

Pradhan said that the estimates on the value of land leased by the GGDC is between US$ 600 million to US$ 1.2 billion.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on August 08, 2014.

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