By Ma. Elisa P. Osorio Updated January 30, 2009 12:00 AM
[ philstar.com ]
Investments in Clark Freeport Zone amounted to more that P14 billion last year with overall employment reaching over 57,000, the Clark Development Corp. (CDC) said.
CDC President Benigno N. Ricafort said that 164 investment projects have been approved in 2008.
Ricafort said both international and domestic firms opened or expanded their business in the Freeport zone. Of the 164 projects, 65 were newly signed while 22 are expansion projects.
The remaining 77 meanwhile are renewal of contracts and memoranda of understanding.
Ricafort noted that the new projects and the 22 expansion plans brought in a total of P13.11 billion
He said the initial P13.11 billion investments would increase to P14.12 billion on the fifth year. Also, the CDC is expecting a committed employment of 13,737 from the new projects.
Last year, the CDC reported that the number of its workers increased by 5,780 bringing its total workforce to 57,790.
The increase in employment statistics, Ricafort said, had breached the 57,000 mark for Clark workers.
Earlier, Ricafort said investments in Clark will reach $3 billion by next year. In fact, he said they are expanding the Freeport because many locators have signified interest in locating in the former American military detachment in Pampanga.
They are in the process of developing a subzone that is 10,600 hectares big. However, he said only 2,500 hectares of the entire subzone has commercial value. The remaining are steep and agricultural.
He said the investors for the new subzone would mainly be tourism related companies and light industries.
Likewise, Ricafort said the additional investment in the new subzone will create more employment not only for the people of Pampanga but also for the people in surrounding provinces.
CDC assistant vice president for Investment and Promotions Bernardo Angeles, Jr. said P8 billion to 10 billion of fresh investments are expected last year – which is about almost 70 percent of the P5 to 6 billion worth of investments generated in 2007.”
“We also brought down the cost of power giving us the cheapest rates in Luzon,” Angeles said.
Total investments in the Clark Freeport and the Clark Special Economic Zone have reached P30.51 billion in 2007, he said, adding that in 2006, locators infused some P3.5 billion.