CLARK FREEPORT -- A top official of Clark Development Corporation (CDC) recognized the hard work of the employees of the state-owned firm for the achievements of CDC in the past two years.

"Had it not been for the unrelenting commitment and strong resolve of the CDC workers to implement the 'eight-point agenda,' Clark would not have become what it is today -- an economic haven in the Asia Pacific Region," said CDC president Benigno Ricafort.

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The eight-point program action was implemented after Ricafort assumed the presidency at the state-owned firm in August 2008. They include International Standard 'Business Center,' Parallel Development Program, Pro-active Coordination with DMIA, Clark-Subic Synergy, Tourism Development, Strengthening of After Sales support services to investors, and Corporate Social Responsibility.

The last two years saw the entry of multi-billion-peso investments from 131 new locators including a huge semiconductor company, which is investing more than P22 billion for the establishment of a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility here.

"Time really has gone fast, very fast - on the 1st Monday of August 2008, I stood here before you, very nervous, very excited, and very unsure on what will be the future for me in CDC... I started then my message with: I request all of you then to help me - for us, together to pray and act, to do our best, above all else, and at all times, the interest and welfare of CDC," Ricafort said during last Monday's flag raising ceremonies.

Ricafort said as a result of the cooperation of Clark workers, CDC received an award as Center of Excellence for Information Communication Technology (ICT) on June 2010 by the Commission on Information and Communication Technology (CITC) Business Process Outsourcing Association of the Philippines (BPO-P), and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Ricafort added that during his term in CDC, in collaboration with the Clark International Airport Corporation and Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (Caap), he was able to resolve the height restrictions issue of the Freeport Zone, which now allows investors to continue with the proposed structures and facilities here.

Through a comprehensive study commissioned by CDC on the flight path at the Freeport Zone, Caap has resolved that the western side of the zone will not impede the flight path of commercial airlines. The resolution now authorizes CDC and locators to construct tall buildings on the western portion of this Freeport zone.

With the Caap resolution on height restrictions, CDC was also able to convince would-be locators and existing locators to stay in Clark, especially in areas with limited land, to instead maximize their properties by constructing vertical structures. This has led to more investment opportunities inside an area formerly called as Clark Air Base proper.

Also, CDC completed the 2010-2014 Development Strategies to help incoming CDC officials plan the continued growth of Clark Freeport in the next five years.

Ricafort also institutionalized the concept of deliberate program for Customer Care and After Sales Service and the Human Resource Development. CDC also played a major role in the Philippine Investment Promotion Plan-a five-year investment plan for the national government.

It also took part in the streamlining and harmonization of procedures for investment and business processing between Clark and Subic Freeports.

"CDC as a government-owned business entity deserves a recognition for its contribution in the regional and national economies. This was made possible because of our focused on plans and directions, to find out where we have been, where we were then, and where we need to go," Ricafort said. (Ian Ocampo Flora)