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‘Political will’ spurred long-delayed Clark airport expansion, says Dominguez

By: - Reporter / @daxinq
/ 05:14 PM March 28, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The speed by which the expansion of the Clark International Airport is being implemented shows President Rodrigo Duterte’s political will to start, fast track, and finish big-ticket infrastructure projects that were allegedly neglected by previous administrations, the head of the government’s economic team said.

Speaking during an ocular inspection of second passenger air terminal being built in the former US air base, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said this project — so far the fastest infrastructure item implemented by the current administration — sets the template for all other ventures under the “Build, Build, Build” program.

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“This is not only a model for the rapid implementation of projects. It is also a model for effective governance in the modern age,” the Finance chief said of the P10-billion Terminal 2 of Clark Airport being built by the Megawide-GMR consortium.

Once completed, the new structure will have 18 air bridges to facilitate the rapid boarding and disembarkation of passenger to and from their aircraft, compared to only four in the current terminal. Its builders expect the structure to be finished by mid-2020, after which it will be turned over to JG Summit Holdings and Filinvest Development Corp. whose joint venture team won last year the right to operate and maintain the terminal.

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Dominguez said that even if the government has adopted a “fast-and-sure” approach in implementing its infrastructure modernization projects, it is making sure that all contracts and bidding procedures for these were being done “with full transparency and accountability.”

The Clark International Airport is envisioned by the government as the country’s next premier gateway that will help clear the congestion at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and anchor the rapid development of New Clark City in Central Luzon.

“The speed by which we have processed and implemented the long-overdue Clark International Airport project exemplifies this administration’s commitment to ensure that our people reap the benefits of the ‘Build, Build Build’ program as soon as possible,” Dominguez said. “Some credit will have to be given to the political will to get things done.”

In contrast, NAIA’s rehabilitation, of which the original proponent status was granted to the NAIA Consortium in September last year, has not yet started, he said.

He recalled that the expansion of the Clark airport has been on the planning stage for 20 years, but with every administration finding “every reason to prevent the project’s execution.” /kga

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