Thursday, September 18, 2008 [ sunstar.com.ph ]
By Reynaldo G. Navales
CLARK FREEPORT -- The officials of Clark Development Corporation (CDC) and the municipality of Mabalacat signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) recently to formalize the establishment of the town's satellite office here.
CDC president and chief executive officer (CEO) Benigno Ricafort and Mayor Marino Morales signed the MOA for the use of Barn House 2081, a 964-square meter area, for a minimum of 15 years.
Barn House 2081, among the first few structures built by the Americans in the early 1990s, will house the Office of the Mayor and Task Force Clark Freeport and Clark Special Economic Zone (CSEZ), said Morales.
The edifice will also "provide accessibility to the local government of Mabalacat for the Clark locators/enterprises in remitting to the host municipality the two percent on gross income earned (GIE) as provided for by Republic Act (RA) 9400 (as amended)."
"We would like to express our gratitude to the CDC particularly its President and CEO Benny Ricafort for his unequivocal support to the local government of Mabalacat," said Morales, who also co-chairs the Metro Clark Advisory Council.
"The CDC and the local government of Mabalacat had long been partners in the development of the Clark Freeport Zone and we will sustain this long-standing relationship that is most beneficial to residents of Mabalacat and Clark investors," said Morales.
The Clark Freeport Zone is currently employing more than 54,000 workers more than the 40,000 direct and indirect workers the former US-run Clark Air Base had employed. There are also currently over 460 foreign and local investors in the Freeport zone infusing billions of pesos in investments.
Morales said Barn House 2081 was referred to him by CDC Vice President for Finance Noel Mananquil. "It is (Barn House 2081) our best choice," said Morales.
At least 90 percent of the Clark Freeport Zone used to be part of Mabalacat town and most of the tourism-related projects in the area are well within the area of the town.
Earlier, Aurora Province Governor Bellaflor Angara-Castillo, who was represented by her nephew Representative Juan Miguel Angara, signed an agreement with CDC for the establishment of the Aurora Province satellite office in Clark.