The National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) has cited the role of the Clark Freeport Zone in driving progress in Central Luzon.
The significance of the Clark Freeport was underscored during the hybrid event, “Clark in Action: The Role of Clark Freeport Zone in the Socioeconomic Transformation of Central Luzon,” held at the Clark Visitors Center on July 4.
Co-organized by the Clark Development Corporation (CDC) and NEDA Regional Office 3 (NEDA RO 3), the event served as a platform to highlight the Freeport Zone’s vital and dynamic contributions to the region’s overall progress.
During the event, Jose Miguel de la Rosa, CDC vice-president for Administration emphasized the importance of development to the region’s development. He called for the support of locators in aligning with the national government’s efforts to achieve holistic development.
“Now is the time for our locators to understand the national government’s efforts to ensure national and local development,” de la Rosa said.
Evelyn Nacario-Castro, NEDA RO 3 assistant regional director lauded the Freeport Zone for its significant role in economic development. She recognized its contribution to job creation, investment attraction, and increased regional trade and revenue.
“Clark is the arrowhead in terms of economic development. The unemployment in the region [Central Luzon) is at 5%, that means on the 95%, you have a major contribution on that and of course on investments, the trade that are coming in and even your contribution to national coffers,” Castro said.
“So, you are that arrowhead. Not only for the region but also nationally. You have a big role to play in that you are generators and key players on jobs and investments that are here generating more revenues for the country,” Castro added.
“You serve as the model for smart development. You are also serving as the showcase for the kind of development we want to have,” she furthered.
For her part, Nerissa Esguerra, Regional Director of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), discussed the key components of the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) and the Central Luzon Regional Development Plan (CLRDP) for the years 2023 to 2028.
“With Metro Clark identified as a strategic growth area in the Central Luzon Regional Physical Framework Plan 2020-2024, Clark Freeport Zone will prime itself as a sustainable and industrial zone with world-class international connectivity,” Esguerra said.
“Central Luzon must continue to harness its export and investment potential. Its wealth of resources, pool of skilled human capital, infrastructure development, and presence of special economic zones make the region a haven for export processing and investment,” Esguerra underlined in her presentation.
The event gathered 77 locator companies and 35 CDC employees, representing a diverse range of stakeholders in the region’s progress.