Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Friday, July 11, 2008

Ricafort to succeed Laus as CDC chief

CLARK FREEPORT -- The lobbying by different sectors and power brokers on who should sit at the helm of Clark Development Corporation (CDC) seems to be finally over.

Long-time CDC director Benigno Ricafort is set to succeed CDC president Liberato Laus, who will formally relinquish his post by the end of this month.

This was announced last Thursday by Subic Clark Alliance for Development Council (Scadc) Secretary Edgardo Pamintuan before the start of the forum on the Scadc Mega Logistics Hub at the Fontana Convention Center here.

Laus informed President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo about his intention to leave his post in a letter he submitted to MalacaƱang in May this year.

Laus cited as reason for leaving CDC his desire to go back to his business and steer his companies in the direction of the country's growing economy under the Arroyo administration.

Pamintuan said President Arroyo has chosen Ricafort based on his experience and understanding of the internal workings inside the Freeport Zone.

"His familiarity with the Freeport will greatly help in the way he will lead and how he would be making his decisions," Pamintuan added.

Ricafort, who is among the old-time CDC directors, has been serving the state-owned corporation for 15 years under its seven presidents. As director, he had continuous liaison with the Bases Conservation and Development Authority (BCDA) and had active participation in overseas and local investments and promotion for Clark.

Ricafort said he will try to put a "stronger community image" for this Freeport.

"We will be looking at our corporate responsibility towards our immediate community. Within Clark, we are looking on the Sub Zone as the next area for future development here," he said.

Ricafort also hailed the efforts and achievements of Laus.

"He (Laus) did a good job and has left his own mark at CDC. The challenges that we will face now would be different from his," Ricafort added.

Laus reportedly favors Ricafort to succeed him to ensure the continuity of his programs for the Freeport.

Educated in the field of business and economics, Ricafort received his Bachelor of Science, Major in Finance at the San Beda College and his Master of Business Administration at St. John's University in New York. He also completed advanced courses on international trade in Germany, Japan and the Netherlands.

As a community servant, Ricafort figured prominently as the president of the Kapampangan Development Foundation (KDF), an organization of Kapampangans based outside of the province. He pioneered social works like the Walking Free Pampanga with the mission of making the province's amputees mobile again. KDF has also launched various social services missions targeting Kapampangan indigents. Activities of the organization are mostly composite efforts of other organizations through his vast networks.

Ricafort is set to take the helm of CDC as its eighth president. SunStar

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