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Clark development via PPP route pushed

/ 12:11 AM August 31, 2016

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) wants the private sector to assume the development of the Clark International Airport in Pampanga via the Public Private Partnership program, saying this was a faster way to ease air traffic congestion at Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

The announcement made by Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade Tuesday marked a significant departure from the Aquino administration’s earlier stance to pursue  development at Manila’s nearest alternative air gateway using government’s resources.

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“The DOTr does not have the core competence of putting up airports,” Tugade told participants at a forum hosted by the Management Association of the Philippines.

“It has been pushed that the improvement at [Clark Airport] should be borne by government… I have adopted a different position. I have proposed that it be done by PPP,” Tugade said.

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He declined, however, to give added details on what the project entailed.

Tugade said he was looking at launching and completing this process “in the next 10 months or so.”

He also suggested that private sector would need to come in to rehabilitate some of Clark’s facilities.

“Some of the equipment there [in Clark Airport] is no longer operable and this was not known  to the public,” Tugade said.

In previous statements, Clark Airport’s operator Clark International Airport Corp. said it was planning a P7.2-billion low cost passenger terminal.

The new facility will boost the development of Clark Airport, mainly to attract more airlines and investors to operate at the 2,367-hectare Clark Civil Aviation Complex.

It said earlier that French firm Aeroport De Paris was tapped to design the project.

Clark Airport has struggled to lure flyers, mainly due to its distance from Metro Manila and the lack of mass transit options.

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TAGS: Business, Clark International Airport, Department of Transportation, DOTr, economy, News, PPP, public-private partnership
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