His Excellency Gerard Ho, Singapore ambassador to the Philippines, Senator Joseph Ejercito Estrada, Senator Emmanuel Villanueva, Parañaque City 2nd District Representative Gus Tambunting, Tarlac Governor Susan Yap, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, BCDA President and CEO Vince Dizon, PPP Center Deputy Executive Director Atty. Mia Sebastian, Megawide Chairman Edgar Saavedra, Filinvest Development Corporation President and CEO Lourdes Gotianun-Yap, LIPAD Corp. President and CEO Bi Yong Chungunco, Udenna Corporation Chairman Dennis Uy, Philippine Airport Ground Support Solutions, Inc. President Janette Cordero, Clark Development Corporation President Noel Manankil, distinguished guests, friends in media:
Thank you for coming all this way to Clark to see for yourselves the progress of the work here. The New Clark City is the first “smart” city we are building. This will be the first fully planned, green and technological city that we will have in the Philippines.
The Clark International Airport new terminal building is the first of the Duterte administration’s hybrid infrastructure projects under the Build, Build, Build Program. This is also the fastest to be implemented by the national government, and incidentally by the private sector, setting the template for all the other projects of our strategic infrastructure program.
The new terminal building won approval from the NEDA Board in June 2017. Actually, that was a year after the administration took office. And after six months, the project broke ground. Now, it is 56 percent complete. We are looking forward to this project’s completion ahead of schedule by mid 2020. From what I recall, in the case of the NAIA rehabilitation project, the original proponent status was granted to the NAIA Consortium in September of last year, and that was a year after we first met. It is now 2019 and the project has not yet started. So our discussion was, the private sector PPP projects take too long to implement. In fact, there was one project, which was the CALAX project, that took five years to implement. The Duterte Administration has no time, we only have six years in our administration, and we want to move as fast as we can.
The speed by which we have processed and implemented the long-overdue Clark International Airport project exemplifies this administration’s commitment to ensure that our people reap the benefits of the Build, Build Build program as soon as possible. Some credit will have to be given to the political will to get things done. People have to remember that when projects are delayed, the ones who suffer are the people. So it is not PPP, it should be PPPP–Public-Private Partnership for the People. And I think many people forget that the beneficiaries are really the public.
The expansion of the Clark International Airport has been on the government’s drawing board, as Vince said, for 20 years. Somehow, every reason was found to prevent the project’s execution. As Vince said, it took a mayor from Davao to benefit Central Luzon. You have had two presidents from Central Luzon back-to-back and yet, what has been done here? It is our mayor from Davao, where incidentally I am from too, that gets Central Luzon moving forward. Under the Duterte administration, the means and the methods were found to finally make things happen.
Clark International Airport will be the next premier gateway of the nation, helping to clear the congestion that plagues the Manila airport. This facility will anchor the rapid development of the other districts of Clark. We expect this new city to become the investment center in Asia.
Consistent with our fast and sure approach to rapid infrastructure modernization, all the contracts and bidding procedures were undertaken with full transparency and accountability. This is not only a model for rapid implementation of projects. It is also a model for effective governance in the modern age.
We hope to see you again as soon as we mark the next milestones of this unfolding economic miracle.
Thank you very much.