Mercado: Laus and MM Congestion

TWO years ago, the chairman emeritus of the Pampanga chamber of commerce and industry started an advocacy to decongest Metro Manila for the overall sustainability of the country's economic growth.

Its highly developed infrastructure attracted the country's largest factories, corporations, and migrants to the metropolis. The runaway economic expansion has spawned its congestion problem.

With prophetic insight, auto dealership titan Levy P. Laus foresaw what is now Metro Manila's monstrous daily traffic and the high pollution that is the bane of a population of l2 million.

Laus asked the national government to relocate its major offices and agencies to Central Luzon even as he advised commercial and industrial firms to move to Pampanga and consider the province the base of their expansion. He noted that bulk of government infrastructure spending for roads and bridges, telecommunications, mass transit system, and power facilities were allocated to the national capital region. This resulted to investors to flock to the MM area leaving out the nearby provinces in the growth process.

The PamCham official said his advocacy to decongest MM is to enable the development of urban economic growth areas outside the metropolis. He mentioned Pampanga as an ideal relocation site with its underutilized land area, a highly trained work force, and existing road and airport facilities.

It appears that the government is giving Laus’s concept a serious study, in addition to the outcry of an international realtors group against the toxic congestion in the capital region.


The KMC Mag Group’s finding on the tourism industry as a “low lying fruit” buttresses and coincides with early research of Dr. Irineo “Bong” Alvaro Ph.D on the suitability of Pampanga as investment destination. The president of BB International, lead agency in leisure and resort development at Clark disclosed that their Midori Hotel and Casino will soon become a tourist facility with its 110 luxury rooms and 19 extra-large suites. A theme park follows completion.

A caravansary of world travellers and tourists from South East Asian capitals are expected to fly to the country, according to the Mag Group. The Midori’s hotel rooms will be ready to accommodate more international visitors at competitive prices. Dr. Bong’s research also validates Laus’s contention on Pampanga’s advantage as primary investment and relocation site. Alvaro stressed Pampanga’s young demographic advantage at 23.l years old; a 96.2 % literacy rate and a well educated work force.


The CL Daily reported that investigators looking into the ambush slaying of Marianne Lucas Gantan are now exploring the theory of love angle in her death. The late Marianne had a lover’s quarrel with her live-in partner weeks before the killing. She was reported negotiating the sale of her property with plans to settle abroad. Her mother, good government crusader Pyra Lucas said the killing was a case of mistaken identity and pointed accusing fingers at the Mabalacat officials. Mayor Boking has filed a libel suit against her even as his bequest the city council offered a P100,000 reward leading to information for the arrest of the killers. While speculations and allegations flew thick and fast in the new city, Board Member Cris Garbo, the mayor’s chief rival for the coming mayoralty contest, stated “my cumpadre (Boking) is not capable of doing that (killing).”

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