The call for the development of Clark International Airport in Pampanga is gaining more support from elected government officials under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.
This time, it is Senator Koko Pimentel’s turn to push for the development of Clark airport before the scheduled 17th Congress on July 25, where he would rally the Senate to push for Clark including the development of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Metro Manila.
This is indeed a welcome development for the people of Central and Northern Luzon, who have been dreaming to have an international gateway in the area. While we support also the development of NAIA, the new administration must ensure its commitment to develop Clark.
I also support Pimentel’s view that the country needs two airports as its main international gateways. It is similar to the advocacies of the Advocacy for Dual Airport Priority (ADAPT) headed by former CIAC Executive Vice President and COO Alexander Cauguiran. The ADAPT pinpointed six priorities, some of which had been adopted by the Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) under the leadership of President and CEO Atty. Emigdio Tanjautco III.
The six urgent priorities for the development of Clark airport are as follows.
1. Define and implement dual airport strategy for NAIA and Clark as national priority.
2. Implement the Clark airport Master Plan as designed, and invest in the infrastructure support and restore the terminal to 8 million passenger capacity under Phase 1.
3. Direct POEA, OWWA, DOH, and other government agencies to ensure the pre-employment procedures and services required of OFWs are available near Clark airport.
4. Legislate the non-imposition of travel tax in all airports of the Philippines except Manila as incentive for carriers and passengers to use Clark.
5. Legislate exemption of Filipino airlines flying domestic routes from payment of excise tax and value added tax on their aviation fuel as incentive for carriers to fly to Clark
6. Pass the Clark Airport Authority Act to undertake the economic, efficient control, management and supervision of the entire Clark airport complex. This Authority shall also promote Clark airport as major hub and gateway to Asia and the Pacific.
Much has been said about Clark International Airport and it is high time to finally realize all of these endeavors to achieve genuine development of an international gateway.