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Clark readies for reopening

Top local investors are also turning to Clark for more opportunities

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Clark Freeport remains to be an attractive location for various investors as its operator Clark Development Corp. (CDC) pursues more investments and developments in the key business zone.
In its recent report, CDC shared that it recorded a P245 billion total investments in 2020, a 3.38 percent increase compared to total investments of P237 billion in 2019.

Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority also showed the Freeport posted the highest double-digit growth on approved foreign investments in the Philippines for 2020.

Among other Investment Promotions Agencies in the country, CDC registered a 19.6 percent increase on approved foreign investments, followed by Cagayan Economic Zone Authority with 16.9 percent and Philippine Economic Zone Authority with 10.1 percent.

Top firms converge

Aside from this, top local investors are also turning to Clark for more opportunities. SM Prime Holdings Inc. has recently signed an agreement with CDC for the establishment of a P3.2 billion intermodal transport terminal and office tower.

The development of these facilities will generate a total of 2,800 employment opportunities for job seekers.

Meanwhile, CDC president and CEO Manuel Gaerlan stated the number of locators in the Freeport remained at 1,226 firms, sustaining the jobs of 115,375 workers.

Despite a 15 percent decrease in employment from 2019, CDC is confident that an improvement is expected in the coming months as new investments and opportunities emerge in Clark.

Pandemic assistance flows

Gaerlan also mentioned that in terms of rentals in the Freeport, the majority of locator firms in Clark have settled their arrears during the government-imposed lockdown from March to June 2020.

And as a show of support and concern for locators, CDC has eased its collection (spread over 12 months) for those who were seriously affected by the pandemic.

To assist the economy in recovering from the health crisis, the state-owned corporation has also laid out its plans for the Freeport including the aggressive promotion of local tourism through the reopening of parks and other tourist attractions and the imposition of stringent safety and health protocols.

CDC also targets to vaccinate all workers and residents in the Freeport. Preparations and coordination with Department of Health Region 3 and Metro Clark local government units are also underway to facilitate the Clark Covid-19 vaccination program here.

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