P2.5-B water theme park to rise in Clark

CLARK FREEPORT -- The construction of a P2.5 billion high-end water theme park, which is expected to spur development in localities around the Freeport, has started.

Presidential Political Adviser Ronald Llamas, Clark Development Corporation (CDC) President Arthur P. Tugade, Congressman Joseller "Yeng" Guiao and Mabalacat Mayor Marino "Boking" Morales led the groundbreaking ceremony on Saturday.

Former Angeles City Councilor Ireneo "Bong" Alvaro, president of the BB International Leisure and Resort Development Corporation, said the world-class water theme park (first phase of the project) will be completed in three years.

Clark water theme park groundbreaking
PAMPANGA. Dr. Irineo G. Alvaro (L), president of BB International (BBI) Leisure and Resort Development Corp., BBI owners Jack Yang and Tony Huang, National Security Adviser Sec. Ronald Llamas, 1st District Rep. Joseller ‘Yeng’ Guiao, Mabalacat City Mayor Marino Morales, CDC president Arturo Tugade, Paul Aquino, Mayor Feliciano, Angeles City chief of staff Alex Cauguiran, CDC directors Francis Elum, Manolo Feliciano and CIAC VP Rey Catacutan lead the groundbreaking of a soon-to-rise P2.5-billion water theme park at the Clark Freeport Zone. (Chris Navarro)

BB International, proponent of the project, is owned by a Taiwanese group led by Jack Yam and Tony Wang.

During his speech, Alvaro made an assurance that the firm will employ Aetas and locals based on their skills.

He also vowed to implement livelihood programs that will help tribal communities at Sitio Haduan (near the Clark Gate 14) in Mabalacat City and other parts of the Clark subzone.

Tugade vowed support to the project and at the same time lauded BB International executives for considering hiring Aetas.

He said the world-class tourism estate will compete with that of Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia.

According to Tugade, the contract forged by the company and CDC stipulates that Aetas and persons with disabilities should be hired in the leisure and resort facility.

“It is embedded in the contract na dalawang klase ang iha-hire nila, mga katutubo at PWDs,” Tugade said.

Tugade added that he instructed the CDC community services department to provide a hollow block-making machine for the Bamban Aeta Tribal Association (Bata) and Mabalacat Tribal Association (Mata).

Aetas will be trained on making blocks, according to him.

Tugade said he and Alvaro agreed that the first 100 blocks which will be used in the water theme park will be bought from the Mata and Bata.

“This is to show the commitment of the company to the welfare and employment wishes of the katutubo,” he said.

Morales thanked the BB International, saying the project will enhance development and growth in Mabalacat City which covers Clark Freeport.

The mayor assured that the local government will fully support the project.
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