Boking asks CDC Open old Dau Gate to solve traffic gridlock

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    MABALACAT CITY – Traffic congestion is not  a sole monopoly of Metro Manila. In this city, traffic  woes have spun  ideas  on how to untangle the daily gridlock, even before  it gets worse by the time nearby Clark Freeport  hosts the  Asia-Pacific  Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit this  January.

    Mayor Marino Morales  and members of  the city  council have  passed a resolution urg-ing the Clark Development Corp. (CDC), a  state-firm that manages  the    Clark Freeport, toopen the Dau-Clark Gate along the Mabalacat  Road of the freeport to decongest the  business district in Barangay Dau. 

    Morales said the reopening of the gate, once extensively used  during the times of the  Americans at the former US Clark Air Force  Base, would decongest not only Dau but also Barangay   Mabiga.

    Theseareas provide routes,  especially the MacArthur  highway, towards  the freeport from other northern provinces, as  well as the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx).

     “It will also allow convenient transport for tens of  thousands of workers  at Clark and thus boost  even their work efficiency,” Morales said.

    Clark provides  employment  to over 70,000 folk from  provinces around the freeport. 

    “The rush hour at the central business district  of Dau has reached  alarming proportions. There is a need to decongest the old MacArthur  Highway,”   Morales  noted.

    CDC Environmental  Department chief Juan Miguel Fuentes said the  CDC had earmarked P90  million for the further development  of the Mabalacat East Road, the backroad that will link Mabalacat  Gate to the SM City  Clark mall at the freeport’s main gate in neighboring  Angeles City.

    Morales urged the  CDC to open the Dau-  Clark Gate in time for  Clark’s hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic  Cooperation (APEC) summit this January.

     About 1,700 participants, including foreign government ministers, are  expected to attend the month-long   summit at Clark.  Morales said the improvement  of the Mabalacat East Road would  “provide seamless  ingress  and egress within  the city limits because  the central business district of Dau is already congested particularly  during peak hours.” 

    Morales said “the city government would like to  see the opening of the vital road (East Road) for the benefit of the travelling public.” “Residents from the villages of Dolores, Atlu-Bola, San  Joaquin, Poblacion, Sta. Ines, San Francisco and  so forth can utilize the Mabalacat East Road in going to SM Clark or Angeles City.” 

    The Dau-Clark Gate was built during the time  of the US military base which  abandoned Clark in 1991 after almost a  century of stay. Filipino workers at the former US facility used the gate for entry. When Mt. Pinatubo erupted in 1991, the  gate provided access to a “tent city” built within  Clark for  victims of the eruption.

    Morales and other  Mabalacat officials expressed confidence that  CDC President Arthur  Tugade would act favorably  on their petition. “The Mabalacat Business  Club earlier also supports the opening of Dau-Clark Gate,” said  businessman Alex Pineda said.  

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