Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Business leaders cite new SCTEx interchange

TOP business leaders in Central Luzon have hailed the recent opening of the Clark North Interchange of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx), saying it “augurs well for the full development of Clark as a premier investors’ haven in Asia and the larger socioeconomic growth of Central Luzon.”

Levy Laus, chairman of the Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PamCham) said the newly opened interchange provides direct access to the Clark Free Port and will “dramatically improve the transport requirements of Clark’s locators.”

“This is a welcome development,” said Rene Romero, PamCham president, citing the benefits of “faster and cheaper trip from Clark to Subic because of the Clark North Interchange.”

Laus and Romero lead the premier organization of businessmen in Pampanga, representing over 300 business organizations.

The Clark North Interchange was opened on December 23 by the state-run Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), builder of the SCTEx. It was viewed as a timely response to the clamor among Clark locators and other travelers for an easy access to and exit from the 94-kilometer SCTEx.

Laus, who is also chairman of the Laus Group of Companies, said he has always been “bullish about the economic future of Central Luzon, and the opening of the Clark North Interchange has even made our economic prospects in the region brighter and bigger.”

Laus was the immediate part president of the Clark Development Corp., which at present has 787 local and foreign locators whose investments in the free port runs into billions of pesos.

Romero underscored the resulting better and faster mobility not only of locators but other sectors in Pampanga and the rest of Central Luzon provinces. Romero is also chairman of Advocacy for the Development of Central Luzon, an alliance of 60 organizations in six provinces in Central Luzon, which has been a staunch supporter of the SCTEx project.

Laus pointed out that exiting the SCTex to enter Clark and vice versa is now a breeze. While this is definitely good news for both the locators and other people of Clark, it also shortens the route to Subic. The vision of connecting the two major free ports—Clark and Subic—has been realized, he stressed.

Both leaders expressed hope the three other interchanges being constructed by BCDA will open soon. These are the Clark South Interchange (accessing the Yokohama facility), Porac and Floridablanca.

BCDA revealed that the Clark South Interchange, that spills to the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in Angeles City, will be completed by the end of the first quarter of this year. Two more interchanges in nearby Porac and Floridablanca towns, also in Pampanga, are expected to be in operation in early June this year.

The opening of these interchanges will definitely be a boon to businessmen and residents of the southern part of Pampanga, Romero said.

Both leaders are looking forward to “heightened business activities in the area generated in large part by the efficient road network.” Written by Joel Mapiles Business Mirror

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