Leaders want Clark airport promoted

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Friday, August 29, 2014


CLARK FREEPORT -- National and local leaders have recognized on Friday the need to promote Clark International Airport (CRK) as an international gateway of the country.

The promotion and marketing of the airport was aired during a congressional hearing at the Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) yesterday.

Catanduanes Representative Cesar Sarmiento, House committee on transportation chairman, said the committee found out that "there is need to intensify the promotion of Clark airport as a viable option for domestic and international travel."

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This was based on the committee's previous consultation with CIAC officials, said Sarmiento.

With this, he said the committee relayed to President Benigno Aquino III and Transportation and Communication Secretary Joseph Emilio Aguinaldo Abaya that an inauguration ceremony or a public recognition of developments in Clark airport will serve as the needed boost to the airport's marketing program.

"As Clark airport is designed to serve millions of commuters and to the best in logistics and services, our goal is to aggressively promote it in order to live out its intended purpose," Sarmiento said.

Pampanga Representative Joseller "Yeng" Guiao lauded Aquino for supporting Clark.

In the 2015 budget, the National Government had allocated and initial P1.2 billion for the low-cost or legacy terminal of Clark airport, said Guaio.

This will increase the airport's capacity to 15 million passengers per year and this is expected to boost the economy of the whole region, according to the solon.

With the approval of the Clark Green City project, there is more reason and justification to improve Clark airport and all of the complementary infrastructures, Guiao said.

"The P1.2 initial budget is a good sign for us. Once we spend that money, that will be the point of no return," Guiao said.

With its potential, Sarmiento said Clark airport will play a big role in attracting foreign investors and international tourists.

"In the coming months and years, we are certain that Clark airport will play a big role in ushering in tourism and other economic benefits for the benefit of the aviation industry and the country as a whole," Sarmiento said.

He also assured local officials and business leaders that the committee will help in maximizing the full potential of Clark airport.

The House committee on Transportation also asked CIAC to present an update on the proposed construction of the low-cost terminal, preparations for the upcoming Asia Pacific Economic Conference (Apec) next year and the provision of an efficient transportation system "to and from" and within Clark Freeport.

Tarlac Congressman Noel Villanueva raised that CIAC, with the help of the House of Representative’s Central Luzon block, should ask the DOTC to allocate more funds to fully develop the airport.

Sarmiento said all of the issues and the needed funding will be presented during the DOTC budget hearing on September 3.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on August 30, 2014.

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