CILA hits CDC for lack of efficient public transport

Angeles City, Pampanga — The 200 strong Clark Investors and Locators Association (CILA) aired their complaint yesterday to Clark Development Corporation (CDC) for the lack of round-the-clock public transport service inside the sprawling Clark Freeport Zone to serve their employees.

CILA President Josh P. Go said the lack of 24-hour public transport inside the zone hampers their operation particularly in meeting their deadlines for local and export companies.

During a media forum here sponsored by the Holy Angel University, Go said that although some of its 200 members mostly exporters have shuttle services, majority of the employees of other companies rely on public transport.

The Clark locators employ a total of 100,000 people, according to Go..

Majority of the Clark employees rely on jeepneys and buses especially and commuting in and out of the freeprt zone was particularly difficult during nightime.

“About 50 percent of employees mostly of the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) rely on 24-hour public transport system,”he said.

According to Go, he has already brought the problem to the attention of CDC President and CEO Noel Manankil, several times but nothing is being done at this stage.

CDC is said to be busy with the preparations for the upcoming 31st ASEAN Summit and related summits in Clark this November to be attended by 22 heads of state including United Nation Secretary Antonio Guterres.

Previously, transport system inside the free zone was under the jurisdiction of CDC until it was returned to the public sector.

With regards to the status of its other CILA members such as the duty free shops inside the Freeport, Go said that after the expiration of their permits they will lost their privileges. These duty free stores, however, can still operate as ordinary stores.

The first duty free shop in Pampanga was established in Paskuhan Villages in the City of San Fernando in 1989.

Under law, the operators of the duty free shops are exempted from paying certain local and national taxes including other duties but these privileges and franchise will soon end after 25 years of operation. (Romeo Dizon)