MABALACAT CITY – Amid shortage of lands at the Clark Freeport, Mayor Marino Morales has offered some 3,000 hectares of contiguous, flood-free lands in 10 barangays in this town as nearby option.
This, even as seven mayors of Tarlac and this province signed a resolution seeking national government approval and funding for their proposed 2.8-kilometer Clark northern road running parallel to the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEz) but providing direct link between northern provinces and this city.
“The estimated cost of the project is from P120 million to P150 million. The proposal is up for the approval of the Clark Development Corp. (CDC) and the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) because the road would traverse areas within the freeport,” Morales said.
The resolution has asked the “BCDA and other concerned national agencies to provide funding assistance for
the construction of the Clark North Interconnecting Ramp situated in Barangay Dolores in Mabalacat City.”
Apart from Morales, the signatories included Mayors Jose Antonio Feliciano of Bamban, Antonio Rodriguez, Jr. of Capas, and Andres Lacson of Concepion in Tarlac, and Mayors Romulo Pecon of Magalang and Conralito de la Cruz of Porac in Pampanga and Edgardo Pamintuan of Angeles City.
Justifying the new road project, the resolution expressed the signatories’ observation that although the SCTEx “has provided an alternative road to the travellers from the Northern and Southern part of the country, there is still a need to build an additional road that would directly benefit Clark Freeport, Clark International Airport, and other municipalities and cities from the north.”
The proposed road is also expected to boost the proposal of Morales to put some 3,000 hectares in the 10 barangays of his town under the Philippine Export Processing Authority (PEZA) for tariff exemptions that could attract investors who could no longer be accommodated at the Clark Freeport.
CDC authorities earlier said that only 145 hectares of scattered lands are available for leasing within Clark Freeport and that they are looking for areas for expansion. The BCDA has already announced plans to create a Green City in the largely untapped so-called Sacobia area north of Clark Freeport, outside of the 3,000 hectares that Morales wants developed for investors.