NEW CLARK TERMINAL. Undoubtedly, it is one of the great marvels in engineering designs and modern architecture in the Philippines and probably in Southeast Asia today. But more than just its beauty, the new passenger terminal of Clark International Airport (CRK) is a product of hard work, determination, and political will of the national government.
It must be told that its inclusion as one of the flagship projects under the Build, Build, Build program was made possible through Sec. Arthur P. Tugade. As a former president of CDC, the good secretary fell in love with Clark the moment he set foot in Clark in 2012 (as an appointee of late Pres. Aquino). Tugade has since cared for Clark so much that he has ears of President Rodrigo Duterte in his infra projects especially CRK.
Credit must also go to Sec. Vince Dizon, president of BCDA. Our “boy wonder” is not just into ensuring completion of flagship projects but is also on top of strategies in battling COVID. This Cabalen of ours (from Porac, Pampanga), Sec. Vince was always gung-ho on Clark, making it a showcase of things to come not just in the region but in the whole Philippines. Need we mention here the New Clark City which is now one of the gems of the country not just in sports but also in careful urban planning, modern architecture, resilient government center. Dizon, in implementing all these projects, is greatly quarterbacked by BCDA SVP Jake Bingcang, VP Arrey Perez and former CDC President Noel Manankil.
Lipad is doing nice job too in the fit-up work for the terminal. Yes, there was delay in the new terminal’s commencement of operations. But that’s understandable given the fact that Covid has slowed down not just procurement but even the whole economy. We are talking about putting in not just equipment, furnishings, electronic devices but whole lot of systems in passenger check in, security and baggage control, navigational aids, etc.
The new terminal would definitely bring about ooohhs and aaahhhhs. Imagine waiting for your flight in a panoramic view of the Zambales mountain range in the west (including that still grayish peak of Pinatubo), the splendor of the Sacobia Valley in the North and of course the majestic Mount Arayat in the East.
Can you beat that? No other major gateway in the Philippines offer such behold of the grand beauty of nature while inside an architectural wonder.
CREDIT TO YENG. While he is known as of one of the best PBA coaches, Yeng Guiao, has always been espousing for a wholistic national sports program and campaign for the country from way back.
How is he able to do that? You see, Yeng is not just the coach of a fighting NLEX Road Warriors squad. During his time as Congressman of Pampanga’s First District in 2013-2016, he co-authored a bill in the House that sought for better benefits for Filipino athletes.
This does not only include the P10 million cash incentive for Hidilyn Diaz for bagging the gold in Tokyo Olympics, but also the whole package that include better facilities, logistical, manpower, medical and health coverages and other resources for our national athletes.
Yeng, also a former vice governor, was like a voice in the wilderness calling for the establishment of a sports complex in Clark that is complete with amenities and facilities like Athletes quarters. He did not remain an empty cymbal as he filed in Congress in 2014 supporting that move. His call came to fruition in the establishment of various sporting facilities in New Clark City. He might not have been a direct hand in the certified athletic arena and the aquatic center but his call definitely made a dent that may somehow influenced government think tanks and implementors.
Talk about credit, let us not forget that Yeng during his congressional term, had to push for multibillion peso budget allocation to make Clark a premier international gateway. This, even after he stepped down, made sure that the approved budget would indeed go to CRK.
COUNCILORABLE. I could not help but realize how lucky Angeles City Mayor Carmelo “Pogi” Lazatin is being backed by an efficient team. For one, Executive Assistant Reina Manuel who does not only help restore sanity in the minds of busy bodies at the Mayor’s office but is also reminding everyone that this is the time when public service should always be of prime importance. She herself is a very good extension of Mayor Pogi, representing the chief executive in some functions that the former may not keep due to sudden changes in his schedule.
On many occasions, Miss Reina herself chooses to be with Mayor Pogi and other Angeles City officials in extending help to people as we are still reeling the effects of the public health crisis.
With that, Miss Reina, gets to feel the pulse of the people -- taking to heart their needs, their concerns, their conditions especially this time of pandemic. Such representation, empathy and dedication to work are but the qualities that public servants must have all the time. And serving the public with sincerity is manifested in her. She is efficiency, commitment, reliability, loyalty personified. While she may not have a plan to run for councilor, these are but the true qualities than can make her win a seat in the City Council.
Her goodness more than doubly radiates to her beauty in and out.