The Philippines is an ideal place to invest and the government is ready to go the extra mile to nurture strong partnerships with potential investors wanting to put their money in the country, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said on Wednesday as he opened a new airport facility in Central Luzon.
“The simple message that underlay all that we did was that the Philippines is here, we are a good place to invest, we are probably the most vibrant economy in Southeast Asia, and we understand the requirements and the needs of our potential investors, and we will do everything so that that partnership becomes to the advantage of both the private sector, the public sector, to the people,” Marcos said during the grand opening of New Terminal Building of the Clark International Airport in Clark Freeport in Pampanga.
“And this facility is essentially a very strong signal that yes, indeed, we are open for business. We just opened a new terminal. It is state-of-the-art, and this is one of the things that we will continue to do in the future to bring you all to come and be partners with the Philippines to help the lives of our people to help the Philippine economy and para pagandahin ang buhay ng Pilipino, para pagandahin naman natin ang Pilipinas.”
According to the President, this was the message he tried to carry when he traveled to New York last week to attend the United Nations General Assembly and met with many business leaders and heads of corporations.
The idea, he said, was to tell them that the Philippines is willing to change in terms of documentation, procedure, even structure, and legislation to encourage them to come and invest in the Philippines.
Wednesday’s opening is also a perfect example of what government and the private sector can do if they work together, the President said, adding both sectors can leverage their assets if they have strong collaboration.
It is also important because the facility will be another building block in the country’s thrust to become a logistic center of Asia, he pointed out.
“You will see nakangiti nga si Secretary Christina Frasco because now we have another facility, we have another airport kung saan makapasok ang mga turista, ang mga travelers. Not only the business — nagbubukas — the business travelers, those who are working but also those who are visiting the Philippines,” he said.
The country needs similar facilities to boost the tourism industry, the chief executive said, noting his government has plans to improve the airports in Manila and its surrounding areas.
In the meantime, however, while construction works in Manila, Bulacan, and Cavite airports are ongoing, regional airports must be opened, he said.
“Huwag nating pinipilit lahat kailangang dumaan ng Maynila. So direct na sa Bohol, direct sa — well sa Cebu marami na talagang direct, direct sa CDO, direct sa Davao na mayroon na rin,” he said.
“Pero ganoon para hindi na kailangan dumaan ng Maynila. Kaya’t itong ganitong klaseng project is exactly on point when it comes to the plans that we have.”
The opening of the 110,000 square-meter new terminal building is part of an effort to decongest the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Metro Manila.
Equipped with state-of-the-art facilities for safer and efficient travel, the facility was built to accommodate around eight million passengers every year, an improvement from the previous 4.2 million passengers a year.
It is also projected to create more jobs, promote vibrant tourism, and advance socioeconomic activities in Central Luzon.
Joining President Marcos were Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista, Tourism Secretary Maria Esperanza Christina Garcia-Frasco, Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) Chairman Delfin Lorenzana, and officials from the Luzon International Premier Airport Development (LIPAD). | PND