Clark workers to reach 100,000 mark by 2016

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Friday, August 8, 2014


CLARK FREEPORT -- Just short of 26,000 workers now, this former American military airbase-turned-industrial hub will reach the 100,000 mark of a strong and growing workforce by 2016.

This was gleaned after the Clark Development Corporation (CDC) Marketing Office reported the growth that will continue to generate more than 80,000 jobs within the next five years, and the millions of tax revenues to invest for the future of the Freeport and the country.

In its latest report submitted to CDC president and CEO Arthur Tugade, the corporation’s marketing office recorded a total of 193 signed contracts in the first seven months of 2014, which has an aggregate of P4.1 billion fresh investments. At least 178 of the total signed contracts are subleases, with three of these either revived or recovered; while 12 are direct leases. The new investments translate to 81,500 additional jobs within five years.

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Tugade said that one of the marching orders of President Aquino when he assumed the CDC presidency in December 2012 is to make Clark a vital economic engine for the region by expanding businesses that could provide employment opportunities to jobless Filipinos, particularly those living in the Freeport’s adjacent areas.

"Clark workers now stand at 74,000 and many of our locators are expanding some of their businesses here and elsewhere until the next five years, which means, we could actually reach our target of employing 100, 000 workers by 2016," said Tugade.

"Our goal now is to hire some 26,000 starting this year and the remaining in the succeeding years of my term," he added.

The CDC report showed that 75,000 of the expected jobs are from the 12 direct leases signed during the first semester of 2014, while 6,300 would come from the 193 sub-lease contracts signed during the first six months of the year.

The 12 new direct lease contracts which are expected to pour fresh capitals of $51.76 million (or P2.28 billion) within the year are Singaporean-based Capilion Corp. PTE. LTD (P2 billion investments); Matam-Ih, an authentic Kapampangan Cuisine/Restaurant and general merchandise firm (P7 million); Stotsenberg Medical Center, Inc., (P24 million); Prudence Development and Management Corporation (P200 million); Quarterline Foods Corporation (P15 million); and Pax American Food and Leisure Inc. (PAFLI) (P2.5 million).

The 6,300 job positions, on the other hand, are expected from companies with expansion projects. These are Pishon Clark Phils., Inc., a garment manufacturing firm that will invest P1.5 million for the expansion of its cafeteria and recreational area; Kilton Motor Phils., an international race track in Clark, which is set to widen its grand stand with a total P20-million capital; and Eaglesky Technology Amusement and Gaming, Inc. whose investment capital has yet to be announced.

Angelo "Sonny" Lopez Jr., CDC External Affairs manager said the expected increase in manpower will bring more benefits not just to the Freeport and the local tourism business, but to the country’s economy as well.

“The workforce is the heart and soul of every company. With the right people put there, they can actually pump up the industries to unimaginable heights,” he stressed.

Tugade underscored that workers needed in Clark are those for “hard employment” or those who can do office work and can contribute in pump priming the economy.

“It still is a continuing challenge for the CDC to raise Clark as a haven for tourism. But we are optimistic we are getting there because there is a lot to expect in the offing,” he stressed.

He said the state-run office is also targeting for 2016 an investment of $15-billion or a minimum of $300 million hard investment and is still seeking employment generators such as business processing outsourcing (BPOs) or call centers, light manufacturing and tourism.

In 2013, he said CDC secured a total of $10 billion investments.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on August 09, 2014.

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