14 April 2010

Subic, Clark best projects of Arroyo govt.

LAWMAKERS have complemented the top projects of the Arroyo administration, which include the development of Subic Special Economic and Freeport Zone and Clark Freeport and Special Economic Zones.

According to Rep. Danilo Suarez of Quezon, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight, said the two freeport zones were able to attract foreign investors and generate employment ever since their conversion from military bases to bustling investment destinations.

The Quezon legislator stressed that Subic and Clark ecozones’ development was given impetus when it was identified as one of the agenda that shall be addressed by the Arroyo administration.

To facilitate this goal, the President created in 2006 through Executive Order 504 the Subic-Clark Alliance Development Council, a coordinative body to oversee the development of Subic and Clark. It has focused on establishing a single, contiguous and economic growth corridor providing world-class logistics infrastructure and services such as the multi-modal transport hub, favorable environment of investors and additional land for future expansion.

According to the plan, Subic and Clark will be developed as a world-class mega logistics hub that will provide a seamless delivery of goods, services, people and information to and from the production, manufacturing and trading centers of the country.

The hub will not only be a gateway for locators within the Subic and Clark, but will ultimately become the country’s main gateway to the world.

At its inception, the Subic-Clark development council concentrated primarily on the harmonization and improvement of the policies and programs governing the Subic and Clark Special Economic and Freeport Zones, following the rationale that ease of doing business will be a major factor in attracting the major players of the Asia Pacific Supply Chain to choose the two zones as their primary points of destination.

As of May 2009, the total investments in Subic reached $6.053 billion, more than double the $2.561 billion registered in 2004.

The Port of Subic Bay has two new container terminals with a combined capacity of 600,000 twenty-foot equivalent units annually.

In the meantime, Clark has successfully attracted investments worth P79.8 billion from P31.78 billion in 2004. In 2008, total exports were valued at $950 million, 7.51 percent higher than in 2007.

The report further stated that as of the first quarter of 2008, 48 new contracts were signed, with investment commitment valued at P1.43 billion. (Jomar Canlas, Manila Times)