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SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau

Solons urge PNoy to build high-speed railway system to transform Clark into a premier international airport
Writer: Rowena B. Bundang, Media Relations Service-PRIB
12 October 2013 07:53:51 AM

Twenty-five lawmakers, mostly from Central Luzon, have recommended to President Aquino, through Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, the immediate construction of a high-speed railway system that will transform Clark into a premier international airport.

Through House Resolution 230 principally authored by Rep. Linabelle Ruth Villarica (4th District, Bulacan), the lawmakers called for the immediate construction of a high speed railway system that will connect Metro Manila, particularly the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to Clark, to pave the way for the development of Clark as a premier international airport.

Villarica said the NAIA, considered as the country's premier international airport, is facing aviation problems, especially the recurring runway congestion which causes flight delays.

"Compared to its Asian counterparts, it has limited runway capacity and its land area can no longer be subject to expansion. It is at present insufficient to address the growing demands of air transportation system, thus affecting our international linkages especially in business and tourism. With this escalating need, it is high time that the government consider development of another lucrative airport which will augment the needs of NAIA," Villarica said.

She said Clark International Airport is one of the best choices because it is already a fully operational airport with daily flights linking it to major cities in Asia. "It is located inside of the largest former U.S. military bases in Asia. It has a long runway and still has available land capable of expansion and infrastructure development," she said.

Villarica, Chairperson of the House Committee on Women and Gender Equality, further said the whole of Clark is already a tourist destination in itself, with all its golf courses, hotels, casinos, family-styled resorts, and fine-dining restaurants.

"The only missing link to make it a premier international airport and attract investors is a high speed railway system that will connect Metro Manila, particularly NAIA to Clark. The unprecedented development of Central Luzon hinges on Clark becoming a premier international airport," said Villarica.

The synergies of Subic Seaport and Clark International Airport and the wide plains of Luzon will transform Central Luzon into a hub for economic development and a window for global opportunities for growth in the areas of business and tourism according to Villarica.

The resolution provides to recommend to the President thru the DOTC Secretary the immediate construction of a high-speed railway system to transform Clark into a premier international airport.

The resolution is co-authored by Pampanga Reps. Joseller "Yeng" Guiao (1st District), Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (2nd District), Oscar Rodriguez (3rd District), and Juan Pablo Bondoc (4th District); Tarlac Reps. Enrique Cojuangco (1st District), Susan Yap (2nd District) and Noel Villanueva (3rd District); Bataan Reps. Herminia Roman (1st District), Enrique Garcia, Jr. (2nd District); Zambales Reps. Jeffrey Khonghun (1st District) and Cheryl Deloso-Montalla (2nd District); Nueva Ecija Reps. Estrellita Suansing (1st District, Joseph Gilbert Violago (2nd District), Czarina Umali (3rd District) and Magnolia Rosa Antonino-Nadres (4th District); Bulacan Reps. Ma. Victoria Sy-Alvarado (1st District), Gavini Pancho (2nd District), and Joselito Andrew Mendoza (3rd District); San Jose del Monte City Rep. Arturo Robes (Lone District); Aurora Rep. Bellaflor Angara-Castillo (Lone District); CIBAC Reps. Sherwin Tugna and Cinchona Cruz-Gonzales; Butil Rep. Agapito Guanlao; and 1-Sagip Rep. Erlinda Santiago.