CLARK FREEPORT -- The Social Security System (SSS) wants to be part of Clark Freeport's growth, said its chairman, Amado Valdez, during a recent visit here.
Valdez said that with its multi-billion peso portfolio, SSS has decided to invest in a hotel project under a partnership with Clark Development Corporation (CDC).
Valdez also said SSS would like to be part of the development of Clark in a joint venture arrangement with CDC and the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA).
"Since there are opportunities in this country, especially Clark, and CDC and BCDA have a huge land area. We would like to have a partnership between SSS, BCDA as well as CDC," Valdez said.
"We want to be part of the momentum of growth in this area (referring to Clark Freeport). This area will be first world aspiration," the SSS executive added.
Valdez said the agency is making available P20 billion to P30 billion for its investments in Clark.
Initially, the three state firms are eyeing a hotel project inside the 4,440-hectare Freeport.
BCDA is developing the New Clark City, a 9,450-hectare new metropolis that will rise in the Clark Special Economic Zone in Capas and Bamban, Tarlac.
The project is envisioned to be the country's first and only smart and green city that will feature mixed-use real estate developments, an agro-industrial park, and a food-processing terminal.
Valdez also assured the 34 million members of SSS that contributions made by them will be put in "meaningful development."
SSS Commissioner Jose Gabriel La Viña, for his part, said Clark has everything that Singapore has but also this Freeport has so much more to offer.
"We can see the future of the Philippines here (in Clark). As the development here in Clark goes up, there will be a lot of wealth created," La Viña said.
Also present during the media briefing were Rizaldy Capulong, SSS executive vice president Investment Sectors; Eva Tejada, CDC vice-president for Business Development and Business Enhancement Group; and other officers of SSS and CDC.
Based on the latest SSS data, registered employers were recorded at 948,930, while registered members are 35,112,460 in 276 local branches and 22 foreign and Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) branches.
Revenue of state-run SSS rose 8.34 percent to P160.02 billion in the first 11 months of 2016 from P147.7 billion in 2017 on the back of higher collections of member contributions and investment income.
The increase in revenue was driven by the improvement in members' contributions and higher investment income, SSS said.
Members' contributions collected from January to November last year rose 8.7 percent to P131.28 billion from P120.77 billion posted in the same period in 2015.
SSS data also showed that the pension fund's assets, liabilities and reserves as of November 2016 reached P473.63 billion, P13.54 billion and P460.09 billion, respectively.
Published in the SunStar Pampanga newspaper on October 21, 2017.
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