Home » Breaking News, Customs & Trade, Events » Subic, Clark investments grow along with ambition to become transport hubs

National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Deputy Director General Rolando Tungpalan

The Philippine government is eyeing Subic and Clark to provide a world-class passenger mobility and cargo distribution network, according to National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Arsenio Balisacan in a presentation delivered by Deputy Director General Rolando Tungpalan at the recent Subic Bay Maritime Conference and Exhibit.

Such ambition is fuelled by progressive growth in Central Luzon, where Subic and Clark are situated. Subic Bay is 110 kilometers north of Manila, and Batangas, also about 110 kilometers but south of Manila.

Region 3’s share to the country’s gross domestic product grew 9.33% in 2011 to P552.8 billion from P514.2 billion in 2010 and P464.8 billion in 2009, Balisacan noted, adding that Central Luzon, led by Subic and Clark, will continue to be a major contributor to the country’s economic growth.

As a result, he said, opportunities abound for industries, including maritime and logistics, in Central Luzon.

Clark is now a growing hub for low-cost carriers. Its maritime counterpart, Subic Bay, is home to New Container Terminals 1 and 2 and is being groomed to be a gateway to the Asia-Pacific region.

Based on statistics from the National Economic Research and Business Assistance Center-Central Luzon, Central Luzon generated almost P180 billion in new investments in 2011 compared to P70 billion in 2010, reflecting an advance of 157%.

Government and the private sector are also sinking in P53.4 billion into various Central Luzon projects, of which P49 billion are ongoing or still in the pipeline. More projects are expected with government pushing its public-private partnership program.

Some of the more significant Central Luzon projects completed in recent years include the P21.1-billion Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway, a four-lane highway that links Subic Bay to Tarlac City passing through Clark; and the P338.9-million passenger terminal expansion project for Diosdado Macapagal International Airport, now known as Clark International Airport.

Still ongoing are the P5.9-billion MacArthur Highway Redevelopment Project for the upgrading of the highway from Bulacan, Pampanga to Tarlac; the Phase I, P11.594-billion Tarlac Pangasinan-La Union Toll Expressway for construction (in two phases) of an 84.5-km four-lane expressway from La Paz Tarlac to Rosario, La Union; and the P2.-billion Gapan-San Fernando-Olongapo Road, Phase II, for the widening of existing two lanes to four from Sta. Cruz, Lubao to Hermosa, Bataan and improvement of the 1.72km from North Luzon Expressway Rotonda to the San Fernando flyover.

Of the total new investments in Central Luzon, Balisacan said, those that passed through Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority accounted for P68.5 billion in 2011, soaring 599% from P9.8 billion in the previous year. There were also considerable new investments that passed through Clark Development Corp in 2011 at P19.6 billion, although these were down 26% from the previous year’s P26.5 billion.

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