CLARK FREEPORT — Economic performance inside this Freeport has made leaps and bounds in the last two years, posting unprecedented levels in growth rates under the Duterte Administration.
Under the present administration, total net income of Clark Development Corporation (CDC) for the years 2016 to 2017 peaked to P1.81 Billion. This represents 38 percent of the accumulated net income of CDC since its incorporation 25 years ago.
CDC’s net profit grew by almost 50 percent under the 2-year old duterte Administration. Net income for the year 2017 is P1.03 billion compared to P697 Million in 2015 or before Duterte assumed Presidency.
CDC President Noel F. Manankil said the outstanding performance of CDC is attributed to the sound investment climate and economic policies of the Duterte administration. He also credited the collective efforts of the members of CDC Board of Directors, management and employees, as well as the Clark locators and the surrounding Local Government Units.
Recently, CDC also contributed to the national coffers when it remitted P700 Million in cash dividends for year 2017 to the national treasury. This brings the total to P3.25 Billion in actual dividends remitted to the National Government, which is more than what is required by law.
The cash dividends paid by CDC under the Duterte Administration represent 37 percent of the total amount the state-owned firm remitted since 1993. From 1993 to 1996 CDC remitted cash dividends amounting to P2.5 billion.
At the onset of President Duterte’s assumption to office in 2016, the Chief Executive has pushed for the development of Clark Freeport and the Clark International Airport.
In his visit to Clark late last year, President Duterte has underscored the importance of developing Clark Freeport as an alternative destination for industries due to the congestion of Metro Manila.
He said in his speech: “Clark is a very important arterial place, because it is the center of developments in Central and North Luzon.”
At the same time, the Duterte administration is bent on making Clark “the next big metropolis,” implementing vital infrastructure projects that will bolster economic activities in the Central and Northern Luzon regions.
These include the expansion of the Clark International Airport, the construction of railway between Metro Manila and Clark and the cargo rail link between Clark and Subic Freeport under the Build Build Build program.
In the recent economic briefing and roadshow in Clark for the 51st anniversary of Asian Development Bank last month, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez cited Clark as showcase for growth.
‘Clark will soon be the showcase of the Duterte administration’s economic strategy. We expect this area to be the growth driver for Central and Northern Luzon,” Dominguez said.
He added: “Clark was ideally suited to be a center for agro-industrial activities as well as home to cutting-edge technology companies and world-class sports facilities.”
The CDC, the implementing arm of Bases Conversion Development Authority for Clark, also cited the growth on export value inside the Freeport which surged to $6.87 Billion in 2017. This represents a 35-percent upturn from 2016 which stood at $5.08 Billion.
While citing the increase of the export volume, there was also growth in the number of locators inside the Freeport. Some 54 additional locators were registered before the end of last year, bringing to 949 the total number of locator-firms in 2017.
This also resulted in the creation of jobs for 108, workers as of December 2017. During the heydays of the American troops at the former Clark Air Base, the employment peaked to only about 20,000 workers in over 50-year stay at the military facility.
The industrial and manufacturing industry employ the most number of workers at 48,476 employees. This was followed by ICT industry which has 23,349 number of workers or 22.70 percent from the total number of workers here.