MANILA – With Clark’s improved accessibility from different cities in Asia and nearby provinces in Luzon, the Clark Development Corp. (CDC) is reintroducing the city in Pampanga as an industrial park and a tourist destination.
“You’ve seen that it (Clark) is very accessible from all major cities in Asia and with our international airport, it has been more accessible, more convenient, and more enjoyable,” CDC president and CEO Agnes VST Devanadera said during the weekly media forum hosted by the Philippine Information Agency at the PIA Building along Visayas Avenue, Quezon City on Friday.
Devanadera said Clark has a total of 127,590 workers ready to be hired by 1,137 locators, which the CDC is expecting to invest in the city’s expanded business hub.
“Domestically, Clark is also very accessible. We have the Skyway, we have the NLEX (North Luzon Expressway), we have the SLEX (South Luzon Expressway), we have the TPLEX (Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway),” she said. “These are the major arteries. In two year(s’) time, there will be (a) rail system.”
Devanadera also said that Clark is not just a premier investment hub but a leading tourist destination in Central Luzon, as well.
“The Department of Tourism has already identified Clark as the MICE destination and, in fact, MICE venue for 2024,” she said, referring to the city’s Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions hosting on July 10-12 next year.
“This (MICE hosting) is very important to us and to the country because of the accessibility of Clark to other countries, because of our international aircraft.”
With the MICE hosting, Devanadera said, more tourists are expected to visit Clark, which has world-class hotels, shopping and dining establishments, and medical facilities.
Devanadera, meanwhile, said Clark offers fiscal and non-fiscal incentives for businesses.
Among the fiscal incentives she cited are income tax holidays, a 5 percent tax on gross income earned, enhanced deductions, VAT exemptions, and import duty-free.
“We have the fiscal incentives, we have automated our processes, we have major policies, especially on advocacies related to national government policies that we believe should be changed, modified, or amended in law, and we are working on that,” she said.
Devanadera also highlighted such non-fiscal policies as the free flow of goods, special visas for foreign nationals, up to 100 percent foreign ownership, availability of needed manpower skills, and ease of doing business.
She said the CDC would open a one-stop shop next month to assist and help investors in getting building permits, business licenses, and other important documents.
Clark City also has a low crime rate, she said, with the CDC's blue guards assisting the police in maintaining peace and order.
“Those are the major efforts that we are doing and also we have activated the intel community, this is now led by Region 3 (Central Luzon) kasi alam mo naman iba na ngayon (because we now have a different situation),” she added.
Devanadera noted that the CDC is addressing illegal activities, particularly human trafficking and online scams, including those linked to Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs).
“We recommended to our board that, in the meantime, we will not accept any new applications and we will not process any pending applications for licensing of POGO(s). Why? Because you need a different kind of technology to effectively monitor (them),” she said.
She said the CDC has formed the Clark Security Advisory Council, with the active participation of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) under the Department of Justice to effectively address security concerns. (PNA)