CLARK FREEPORT – “This is a dream come true for all of us.”
Thus said Clark Development Corp. (CDC) President Benny Ricafort during the signing of the memorandum of agreement and joint memorandum order (JMO) on Automated
Transit and Admission Declaration Cargo for Subic and Clark Freeport zones held here yesterday.
Ricafort said the automation will benefit both investors and the government since it will facilitate the “free flowing of goods” based on international standards that will prevent smuggling and corruption.
“It will facilitate doing business here and in Subic Bay Freeport,” he said.
Ricafort also noted that the automation had been part of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo vision to make the two freeports as mega logistics hub in the Asia Pacific region.
Director Filas Chen of the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office said “this is the best time to attract more Taiwanese investors.
He said two years ago, Taiwan is only sixth among the top investors in the Philippines. “Now, we’re number three,” he said.
The project aims to provide a more secure and reliable system for preventing smuggling and protecting government revenue, said a CDC press statement.
This is also “to support audit-based risk management system for ensuring that transit foreign merchandize are safely conducted in a timely manner from the port of discharge to the Freeport zones.”
Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Administrator Armand Arreza said that “investors want to see that their goods are being handled in a timely manner.”
“This is the kind of service that they really expect and we want all procedures to be world class,” he added.
For his part, Customs Commissioner Napoleon Morales said the automation will be implemented immediately and expected to enhance revenue collection.
The SBMA, CDC, and the Subic-Clark and Alliance for Development Council (SCADC) headed by Edgardo Pamintuan have agreed to establish the economic corridor that aims to integrate the two freeports and the Taiwan Export Processing Zones into one seamless economic zone.
“This will not only take full advantage of their inherent geographical proximity but also the economies of scale and complementation to achieve more efficient, greater production, bigger and diversified export market,” the statement said.