Standing in the middle of the new terminal building of Clark International Airport (CRK) yesterday, President Marcos declared the Philippines “now open for business” and played the salesman, vowing to attend to the needs of investors.
“This facility is essentially a very strong signal that yes, indeed, we are open for business,” Marcos said at the opening of the new CRK terminal.
Being the first public-private partnership (PPP) awarded under the previous administration, the President cited its opening as a significant help in efforts to achieve economic recovery.
He stressed that now is the time to talk about partnerships between the government and the private sector that were sidelined because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Now that the problem caused by the pandemic seems to have eased, perhaps it’s time to go back to our plans about these kinds of PPP projects,” he said.
Marcos said he relayed the same message to business groups and corporate executives with whom he had meetings during his recent working visit to New York.
“The idea was to tell them… we are willing to change in terms of documentation, procedure, even structure, even legislation, to encourage you to come into the Philippines. Again, the simple message that underlay all that we did was that the Philippines is here, we are a good place to invest, we are probably the most vibrant economy – that is in Southeast Asia,” he said.
“We understand the requirements and the needs of our potential investors and we will attend to you. We will do everything so that that partnership becomes to the advantage of both the private sector, the public sector, to the people,” he added.
Marcos said the CRK’s new terminal is but another building block in the country’s goal to become a logistics center of Asia.
“We just opened a new terminal. It is state-of-the-art and this is one of the things that we will continue to do in the future to bring you all to come and be partners with the Philippines to help the lives of our people, to help the Philippine economy and improve the lives of Filipinos,” he said.
Likewise, the President acknowledged the need for more airports to enhance tourism and boost economic activity. He then cited ongoing construction works in the airports in Manila, Bulacan and Cavite.
“Let us not force everyone to pass through Manila… This kind of project (Clark airport) is exactly on point when it comes to the plans that we have,” the Chief Executive said.
The inauguration of the 110,000 square-meter terminal building of the Clark International Airport is part of the efforts to decongest the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Metro Manila and promote economic activity in Central Luzon.
The building can accommodate eight million passengers every year, an improvement from the previous 4.2 million passengers annually.
Also present during the event were Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista, Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia-Frasco, Bases Conversion and Development Authority Chairman Delfin Lorenzana and officials from the Luzon International Premier Airport Development.