CLARK FREEPORT — Government and private agencies collaborate to enhance Clark as a premier tourism destination, leveraging the potential of Clark International Airport as the primary gateway to the world.
This commitment was solidified during a recent committee meeting on the Enhancement of the Utilization of Clark International Airport held on June 1. Attended by officials from the Department of Tourism (DOT), Department of Transportation (DOTr), Clark Development Corporation (CDC), Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC), and Luzon International Premier Airport Development (LIPAD) Corporation, the meeting focused on devising strategies and action plans to streamline operations at the airport, enhance the passenger experience, and attract more global airlines to expand their services in Clark.
CDC President and CEO Atty. Agnes VST Devanadera conveyed the state-owned firm’s commitment to the comprehensive development of the Freeport and CDC’s support for the optimization of the Clark International Airport.
During the event, Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco reiterated her agency’s dedication to promoting Clark as a major gateway. She stressed the importance of collaborative efforts among various agencies to highlight the region’s attractions, cultural heritage, and diverse tourism programs.
In line with President Marcos’ vision to enhance the country’s tourism and travel industry, key officials are strategically utilizing Clark airport’s capabilities and global connectivity.
“Our President has directed us to enhance our gateways while on the other hand, opening up the Philippines to tourism and travel. This includes resuming international and domestic flights, adding more routes, and specifically including new routes to and from Clark,” she said.
To ensure a safe environment for tourists and combat human trafficking, CDC has taken proactive measures and partnered with relevant authorities, especially the Bureau of Immigration.
“We had a meeting with Commissioner Tansingco of the Bureau of Immigration. We have identified that there is a need to review the policies in the clauses of the Joint Memorandum Order (JMO), because it appears that the ease of doing business between CDC and Subic in endorsing visas for immigration, particularly for working visas, has been abused,” she pointed out.
“Yesterday, we gathered all relevant stakeholders and conveyed a clear message on behalf of CDC: we will not hesitate in cancelling their Authority to Operate (ATO), and we will not think twice about forfeiting investments should their operations negatively impact Clark. We are determined to maintain the integrity of Clark and we will not allow it to become a scam hub,” Devanadera further asserted.
This stern action, according to her, is intended to deter further abuses and ensure the integrity of all operations within the Freeport. Devanadera also reaffirmed to all stakeholders the commitment of CDC to promoting a business-friendly environment in and around Clark.