THE people of Pampanga and Tarlac who consider President Aquino as a true blue cabalen are watching how the son of an icon and martyr will decide on two issues affecting their present and future lives.

The first public concern is the immediate and urgent need to start development work at the Clark Airport for a fully operational alternate gateway to the country.

Updates on President Benigno Aquino III's presidency

The second is the more urgent appeal of thousands of residents in eastern Pampanga to reverse the cancellation of a Japanese funded flood protection project in Guemasan, Arayat.

As to the general sentiment of our people on the Airport issue, reprinted is a letter from a businessman to the Chief Executive which is self-explanatory:

His Excellency

President BENIGNO AQUINO III

Republic of the Philippines

Dear Mr. President:

The people of the Kapampangan region rejoice in your election as President. The residents of Tarlac and Pampanga, particularly are hopeful that in your administration, the Diosdado Macapagal Airport at Clark will finally be developed into a fully operational international airport.

Your predecessor failed dismally in starting successfully with the failed Terminal 2 project on account of conflicting interests by current officials at the Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) and government indecision.

The proposal of Bristeel Ventures Inc., a $1.5 Billion (US) consortium of Malaysian giant corporations had pledged a minimum investment capital of $150 Million (US) in a Joint Venture scheme with the CIAC for the much delayed and overdue airport development project.

The Malaysian firm’s proposal is worth considering for these reasons:

1. It has genuine, solid, and verifiable track record in airport development projects in several nations. Its competitor has yet to start from ground zero in aviation complex management and operations.

2. It will infuse much-needed foreign capital into the Philippine economy, and not merely rely on funds borrowed from domestic banks and other local sources to finance the project.

3. During your term, the project, with Bristeel as proponent, will be completed, thereby helping your agenda to generate economic growth by attracting foreign investors into various aviation-related enterprises within the commercial areas included in the joint venture. These will create employment and livelihood opportunities for Central Luzon residents, Pampanga and Tarlac specially.

4. Simultaneous work at the Terminal 2 project by Bristeel and that of a local consortium to put up a Railway System inside the North Luzon Expressway will speed up your socio-economic agenda in this part of the country.

The Bristeel proposal long submitted as a unsolicited bid for the Airport Expansion project is now gathering dust at the CIAC offices, while another proponent, Philco Aero Corp. of which the present CIAC President and CEO was allegedly pushing despite its failing to meet basic requirements of the CIAC Joint Venture Selection Committee.

Our residents here pray for your continued good judgment and discernment in deciding which between two rival project proponents should favor your choice to achieve the speedy, smooth, and efficient development of DMIA into an alternate international gateway in air travel.

Respectfully,

(Sgd.) MR. WILLY NG

August 09, 2010

I am positive that the cancellation by DPWH Sec. Rogelio Singson of the slope protection and river rehabilitation project in Arayat has nothing to do with politics.

While the principal appellant to President Noy against scuttling the life-saving infrastructure project is Gov. Lilia Pineda, who is an identified former PGMA supporter and ally, Mrs. Pineda expresses the hopes and fears of residents in several towns who will be imperiled in the event floods overtop the Pampanga river in that area.

Governor Pineda is speaking here of lives and properties which are beyond the realm of partisan interest as in Liberal Party versus Lakas-Kampi-CMD.

In her appeal to the President, Mrs. Pineda was encouraged by the findings of the DPWH regional officials on the urgency of continuing the Dike project and the imminent danger posed by floodwaters. Even Aquino’s pointman in the region, CSF Mayor Oca Rodriguez will sustain the recommendations of DPWH people on the unfunded project.

Last year several lives have been lost due to a giant mudslide in Arayat town. Governor Pineda is doubly apprehensive that a major breach in the Guemasan Dike, or a deadly flood surge over its eroded slopes may result in a major tragedy.

Even if Pampanga is known as a GMA country, President Noy remains our favorite son whose small favors to the Pampangos, as the case may be, had been paid in advance by the consistent support, the love and affection that Pampangos had given his late father Ninoy and former President Cory. The lady governor is just doing her bound duty to protect her province.

Of course President Noy swept Pampanga in his landslide victory in May.