Duterte highlights need to utilize Clark airport

President Rodrigo Duterte announced in his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) that the Clark International Airport can be utilized for domestic and international flights.

“The Clark airport can be utilized to shift some operations of our domestic and international airlines,” said Duterte earning positive reactions from Kapampangans and political figures in the province.

Reacting to President Duterte’s SONA, Angeles City Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan said the development of Clark as an international hub catering to international and domestic flights is long overdue.

He said that for the longest time, the country’s aviation industry during the past administration has been disastrous.

“It took a back seat during the previous administration and the result has been disastrous to the country’s aviation industry, with delayed flights as long as 3 to 4 and even 7 hours,” Pamintuan added.

The decongestion of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) is just the short term goal, according to Pamintuan. He also said the strategic goal is to develop Clark as part of the continuing comprehensive development of the country.

The mayor, who is also the President of the League of Cities in the Philippines, stressed the railroad system from Southern Tagalog and Metro Manila to Central Luzon is another necessary part in the development of Clark that will facilitate the speedy transit of passengers and goods.

Duterte also mentioned a one-stop shop for OFWs in Clark, which according to Pamintuan, is just what Clark needs.

“The President has the political will and foresight to include this in his priority projects,” he said.

During his stint, former 1st District Rep. Joseller “Yeng” Guiao had proposed for the Phase II of the CIAC terminal which would include a one-stop shop, wherein all concerned government agencies needed for OFWs will be located inside, if not near, the airport itself.

Pamintuan also noted that the President’s directive for a unilateral ceasefire with the New People’s Army (NPA) is a step in the right direction.

“It shows President Duterte’s will end the war in the countryside through a political solution once and for all. The next step is for the NDF forces to reciprocate the gesture. Then the real talks to solve the social, economic and political issues of the insurgency can begin,” he ended.

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