Friday, September 17, 2021

Aquino assailed for failure to develop Clark airport

ANGELES CITY -- A cause-oriented group here has assailed President Benigno Aquino III for failing to fully develop and utilize Clark International Airport during his six-year term.

The Pinoy Gumising Ka Movement, headed by businessman Ruperto Cruz, expressed dismay over the slow-phase development of Clark airport, which is being eyed as the country’s next premier gateway amid the air traffic congestion at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Cruz claimed that the government’s appropriation of P15-billion for the construction of a new airport in Clark seemed to be a political propaganda and “press release” aimed to attract votes for administration bets this coming election.

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board, headed by President Aquino, approved the P15-billion funds for the expansion of Clark airport.

“It is too late, he (Aquino) will be out in three months but the construction of our new airport has not started yet,” Cruz said.

“He failed the Kapampangans and people of Central and Northern Luzon who expect economic development that will purportedly be spurred by Clark,” the businessman added.

Emigdio “Dino” Tanjuatco III, Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) head, earlier disclosed that they are set to bid out a new Detailed Engineering Design for the passenger terminal.

This, after the original design prepared by the French firm Aeroports De Paris, which is expected to accommodate 10 million passengers per year, has been “scaled down,” according to Tanjuatco.

Cruz claimed that the development of Clark airport requires “political will” and blamed national leaders responsible in the grand design to “imperialize Metro Manila.”

A strong quake is “overdue” and the national government has prepared contingency measures, according to Cruz.

“How we don’t see the national government putting up satellite offices in Clark? After the 7.2 magnitude [earthquake], are they going to rebuild imperial Manila and waste more money?” he added.

Based on scientific studies, Metro Manila and other adjacent low-lying areas will be submerged because of liquefaction after a strong quake, Cruz said.
He added that the government will only waste money with the expansion of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and construction of a new airport in Cavite in Laguna lake.

“The government should listen. This is people’s money that the politician’s money. It is high time that they really have that honest to goodness mindset build Clark [airport],” Cruz said.

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