CIAC prexy eyes Angeles City mayoralty seat

ANGELES CITY — “After much thought, I have decided to help shape the future of Angeles City by running for mayor in 2019.”

Thus said Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) President Alexander Cauguiran over the week, before some 100 barangay leaders and supporters during a gathering he hosted at his residence in Carmenville Subdivision, Barangay Cutcut in this city.

Cauguiran is a renowned civic leader and street parliamentarian during the 80s and 90s.

Among mayoralty aspirants, so far, Cauguiran’s name is consistently mentioned as the most qualified to replace Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan, who is serving his third and last term as the city’s chief executive.

“I will greatly appreciate and will be most grateful for the endorsement of Mayor Pamintuan,” Cauguiran noted.

“But, in the end, I have to respect whatever his decision may be since our friendship transcends politics, that whether or not I get the endorsement, I have crossed already the Rubicon and there is no turning back. I shall carry on wherever this journey leads me,” Cauguiran added.

Cauguiran served as chief-of-staff of Pamintuan from 2010 to 2016, bringing with him the exemplary, innovative and results-oriented style of management in local governance which helped made Angeles one of the premiere highly-urbanized cities in the country today.

“I do not have the monopoly to claim leadership of the city government. But sincerity is always subject to proof. I have proven my sincerity in the past and I have proven my sincerity in the present. And make no mistake about it—I will prove the same sincerity in the future. In all humility and without malice to anybody, I think that is what sets me apart from the other aspirants,” Cauguiran said.

Cauguiran is currently the president of the 30,000-strong Partido Abe Kapampangan (ABE), an Angeles-based political party accredited by the Commission on Elections.

Throughout his extensive professional and work experience, Cauguiran’s foremost advocacy is the full development of Clark airport.

Cauguiran co-founded during the late 90s the group Movement for the Full Operation of Clark International Airport (MOVE Clark Now) and in 2016, co-founded the Advocacy for Dual Airport Policy or ADAPT, a multi-sectoral coalition which successfully engaged both the public and private sector in helping craft a long-term sustainable plan for the use of Clark as the most viable airport north of Manila.

In August 2016, Cauguiran was appointed acting president and chief executive officer of CIAC.

Political analysts in the city attribute his exceptional managerial skills at CIAC to his name’s familiarity among business and investment circles and provincial and city officials as well.

The airport executive completed two consecutive terms as one of the leading Sanggunian Panlungsod members of Angeles City from 1998 to 2004, consistently advancing policy issues especially on poverty alleviation, job generation, and improved trade and investments in the city.

“What Angeles City needs now is a strong leader to continue the legacy of the incumbent mayor. I can offer that strong leadership to sustain the momentum we have gained during the Pamintuan administration as we must blaze new trails and expand our paths to provide a comfortable life to our fellow Angeleños,” he said.

Cauguiran’s corporate leadership caused the increase in the number of airlines, flights, destinations and revenues at the Clark International Airport.

By CIAC’s estimates, the number of passengers will reach 2.5 million by the end of the year, breaking all previous records in Clark’s history.

Only two years after being appointed as CIAC head, Cauguiran already caused additional domestic and international flights, a huge improvement from three to five years ago, with more airlines signifying to mount flights at Clark airport under his leadership.

“That is the motivation why I moved heaven and earth to make Clark airport as one of the major gateways in our country, next to if not at par with Manila and Cebu. It’s all about boosting our local economy―more jobs, businesses, livelihood, and a wide range of income-generating activities,” he added.

Cauguiran said his decision to run for mayor and making Clark a major gateway “is only half of the equation.”

“Equally important is how to make the most of the opportunities and at the same time respond to the social responsibilities that come with these opportunities,” he said.

Aside from the full development of the airport, Cauguiran cited the Clark Special Economic Zone will soon see the rise of a National Government Administrative Center, a sports complex for the ASEAN games and more hotels, locators and investments will pour in even outside Clark as major infrastructure projects will be underway to improve connectivity with Manila and Subic.

Cauguiran said that housing, sanitation, peace and order, health services are but some of the major concerns that Angeles City and its neighboring areas have to grapple with.

“As more and more people gravitate to our area, there will be greater social responsibilities and we must be prepared not only to reap the fruits of progress, but also to cope with the social cost,” Cauguiran added.

In seeking the city’s highest post, Cauguiran said he does not have the pedigree of the rich scions from known families of Angeles City but cited that this may be to his advantage.

“This is precisely my strength and my advantage as I know firsthand the needs and aspirations of the common folk. I have not only been with them, I am one of them,” he said.

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