Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Friday, October 09, 2009

Clark sees boost in investments with less building restrictions

SOME P4 BILLION worth of investments are expected at the Clark free port in Pampanga once the granting of building expansion permits is simplified, thus creating more spaces for lease, a ranking official said last week.

Instead of having authorities set height clearances for each building near the free port’s airports, the Clark Development Corp. (CDC) wants maximum values assigned per area, CDC president Benigno N. Ricafort said.

Thirty-two buildings have applied for expansion, but will have to acquire height clearance permits first as the free port is home to the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport.

"What we want is buildings will not get permits one by one. Instead, a general height clearance should be given for specific areas," Mr. Ricafort said in Filipino in a telephone interview.

In March, the International Civil Aviation Organization studied what the limits should be and even considered the proposed third runway in computations, Mr. Ricafort said.

Meanwhile, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines has been tasked to draft new guidelines for processing height clearance permits.

"The final signed circulation and conditions will come out any time this October. We are coordinating with the [International Civil Aviation Organization]," said Mr. Ricafort.

Investment pledges committed to CDC reached P2.9 billion in the first half, up by 39.8% from the same period last year, official data showed.

The growth in Clark bucked the downtrend seen by other investment promotion agencies such as the Board of Investments, Philippine Economic Zone Authority, and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority. — Jessica Anne D. Hermosa - Business World

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