Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Mabalacat residents oppose opening of new Clark gate

MABALACAT CITY -- A group of residents in Barangay San Joacquin are opposing the opening a new gate leading to Clark Freeport.

The village's main road, named Imelda Marcos Street, will be opened to motorists once the ongoing construction of the Clark Mabalacat Angeles Road (CMAR) extension is completed.

But the residents asked the Clark Development Corporation (CDC) and the local government here to consider other routes.

They claimed that San Joacquin is residential and thickly-populated barangay and Imelda Marcos Street is the only road they use.

The opening of the road will compromise the safety of the school children and people living in community, according to the group of residents who prepared a position paper against the project.

The 15-meter street is not sufficient to serve as an access road to Clark at the same time service road of the residents.

During the time of the US military, Barangay San Joaquin was never used as an entry point to Clark, according to the residents. “Historically, Barangay Dolores was where the gate of Clark for the entry of supplies was located.”

Local officials earlier asked the CDC to extend the CMAR to the city's northern villages in a bid to decongest the MacArthur Highway.

The residents claimed that the government implemented without consulting the people living in the area.

Vice Mayor Christian Halili said they have recommended to CDC alternative routes including a road leading to Barangay Dolores.

The CDC said that the road project was envisioned to help decongest traffic at Macarthur Highway per arrangements with Mabalacat City Government, it being primarily affected by congestion. Safety and security of all concerned have also been factored in by way of added provisions like lighting, canal and narrowing the road width.

“But given all these features, CDC will always consider the decision of the LGU Mabalacat — them being considered not just the beneficiary but also our partner in progress.”