ANGELES CITY -- Local businessmen and officials lauded President Benigno Aquino III and the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) Board for approving the P15-billion expansion project of the Clark International Airport.
Aquino approved five new projects in transportation and energy amounting to P131.4 billion during a Neda board meeting Friday in Malacañang.
The project is expected to accommodate up to 15 million passengers yearly and will cost the government P15.354 billion, including the installation of equipment, machinery and facilities.
Businessman Ruperto Cruz, head of the Pinoy Gumising Ka Movement (PGKM) which is calling for the full development of Clark, thanked the president and the Neda for backing the project.
Cruz also hailed Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) president Emigdio “Dino” Tanjuatco for his effort in pushing for the realization of the low cost carrier terminal.
“Pasalamatan ta ya I PNoy pero most especially i Tanjuatco kasi iya ing ikit tamung meg-lobby ken," Cruz said.
According to Cruz, the CIAC chief has proven to the Kapampangan people that he is not one of the officials who are part of the “grand plan” to sabotage the development of Clark airport.
Cruz even urged CIAC and the national government to immediately implement the project, which he described as “long overdue.”
“Aquino’s term will end on June 30, 2016, kapilan ne man kaya mag-start ing project,” Cruz said.
The PGKM people of Pampanga are fighting for the operation of Clark airport as the country’s main gateway for more than 20 years, the businessman said.
Pampanga First District Representative Joseller “Yeng” Guiao expressed gratitude to Aquino and the Neda Board for approving the project.
“We thank PNoy and the NEDA Board for their support and foresight in advancing the development and economic progress in our region (Central Luzon) with the approval of the construction of the new terminal that will total P13 billion when completed,” Guiao said.
“It is a testament to the effort of the community to contribute to the long term success of Pampanga, Central Luzon and the rest of Northern Luzon. One team tayo,” Guiao added.
Angeles City Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan, for his part, described this development as a “milestone, a legacy left for the people of Luzon, preparing Clark for that elusive international airport and building the future now.
The Neda Board also approved the Naga airport development project worth P3.533 billion.
“The airfield will be reoriented to enable dual-approach landing and takeoff and new airside and landside facilities will be established to meet the growing tourism demand,” said Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., adding that the project will be funded through the General Appropriations Act.