It seems that business tycoon Manuel V. Pangilinan is still bullish to develop the Clark International Airport expressing his interest to participate in the Public Private Partnership (PPP).
At the sidelines of the PLDT Stockholders meeting held at Hotel Shangrila in Makati City last June 14, Pangilinan lamented that incoming President Rodrigo Duterte who is set to assume office on July 1, will have to decide once and for all, whether Clark International Airport in Pampanga would be the next international gateway of the Philippines.
Pangilinan said “we are still interested, I hope the (Duterte government) would privatize it (Clark) and I think they will so.”
Clark and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) can co-exist together and could be developed at the same time since both airports can cater to the catchment areas of North Luzon and Southern Luzon. This, is similar to the proposals of various organizations such as the Pinoy Gumising ka Movement (PGKM) of businessman Ruperto Cruz and the newly-formed Advocacy for the Dual Airport Priority (ADAPT) headed by former Clark Airport Executive Vice President Alexander Cauguiran.
Said Pangilinan: “Privatize Clark, we would be interested, but the first question we will ask is this the international airport of the Philippines and the new incoming government must decide on it.”
It is high time that incoming President Duterte should give priority to this call of various sectors in the society since this will attract more investments as well as improve our airports (Clark and NAIA) in the country.
The government should “be part of the equation if they were to privatize Clark because the bidders will ask for it”.
The Clark Civil Aviation Complex which houses Clark Airport is about 2,367 hectares and is an hour away from Metro Manila via the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX). At present, Clark is hosts to carriers such as Qatar Airways, Emirates Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Tiger Air Singapore, Dragonair, Jin Air, and Asiana Airlines.•RI