CLARK FREEPORT -- Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who is now Pampanga Second District Congresswoman, has described the Subic-Clark area as the counter-magnet for Metro Manila.
Arroyo issued the statement during the formal launching of the P130-million Mabiga Toll Plazas and the P27 million Santa Ines-Magalang Exit Ramp of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) and Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx) in nearby Mabalacat City on Monday, February 26.
The former president said that NLEx, SCTEx and the Tarlac Pangasinan La Union Expressway (TPLEx) or the whole belt way is important for the development North of Manila.
The new interchange in Barangay Mabiga, which all of its features, is a very important tool in making the Subic-Clark growth corridor the most competitive center in the region, according to her.
“To me, SCTEx, among all my infrastructure projects when I was president, was my most important legacy to my province of Pampanga,” Arroyo said.
She also disclosed that President Duterte is bullish about the development of Central Luzon.
“Indeed, we’re very happy that now with the administration of President Duterte, he thinks the same way about our region. Remember when he came here last December 7 for our Kapampangan food festival? He said that Metro Manila is decaying and the alternative, the magnet, the counter magnet should be the Subic-Clark area,” Arroyo said.
The congresswoman at the same time thanked NLEx Corporation, under the leadership of President Rodrigo Franco, for being a “willing and cooperative” private partner of the government in the project.
“We now have the infrastructure to realize our vision, which is the Subic-Clark area counter-magnet for Metro Manila,” Arroyo said.
She also mentioned other vital projects in the region, which are being pursued by the Duterte Administration, including the Clark airport, NAIA-Clark train, and others.
“As Kapampangans, we do our share because the way the President Duterte put it about Manila decaying is that it is not suitable for factories anymore. We are very suitable for the industries,” Arroyo said.
“Together with Clark, the province of Pampanga has partnered to promote investments in this part of the region,” she added.