Clark Airport will support the growth of Pampanga Megalopolis


CLARK International Airport (CIA) will support the development of the Pampanga Golden Triangle into Luzon’s next megalopolis, according to former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Arroyo, who was also a congressman representing the second district of Pampanga and speaker of the House of Representatives, said the rise of the CIA as an international gateway to central and northern Luzon will support the development of the megalopolis of Pampanga.

The megalopolis refers to a group of municipalities and towns connected by transport infrastructure such as airports, highways and railways.

“When completed, it will become a gem in Southeast Asia as it is dubbed the Gateway to the North of the Philippines,” Arroyo said, referring to Pampanga Megalopolis.

The former president, with a growth vision to transform central Luzon into an iconic development footprint, in 2016 commissioned renowned town planner Felino Palafox Jr. to draft a development plan for Pampanga province as a epicenter of progress and development.

“As a countermeasure to decongest Metro Manila, Pampanga would be one of the most viable alternatives for developing the northern part of the Luzon mainland,” Arroyo said.

She said the government’s “Build, Build, Build” program will help boost economic activities in the region.

As part of the Pampanga Megalopolis 2017-2040 plan approved by the provincial government, Pampanga Megalopolis will have development pockets comprising an aerotropolis, an agropolis, an aquapolis and an ecopolis.

The CIA will become the center of the Aerotropolis of Pampanga made up of Angeles City, San Fernando City, Mabalacat City and Mexico City. The aerotropolis will have spatial, functional and connectivity elements.

Space elements would include aviation-focused businesses, hotels, convention centers, service industries and others. Residential areas would be developed inside the outer ring of the airstropolis and would develop outward.

The functional elements would involve businesses dependent on the airport for access while the connectivity elements would consist of air routes and surface links such as highways and railways to provide internal and external accessibility to the airport. .

Arroyo noted that construction of the Manila North Railway between Clark and Manila is in full swing while the Clark Railway to Subic will also be developed.

Other infrastructure projects that will support the Aérotropolis de Pampanga are a new circumferential transport corridor, interconnecting all the cities and municipalities of the province; the development of a world-class mass transit system along the MacArthur Freeway in the form of bus rapid transit that will integrate and partner with the CIA.

Meanwhile, Agropolis de Pampanga brings together the different agricultural communities of the province and provides the urban equipment necessary for the overall improvement of the quality of life.

Agropolitan development will be based on policy and technological interventions such as incentives to farmers and the application of hydroponic farming techniques, farm-to-market roads and post-harvest and other facilities. It will also involve the development of agro-tourism zones.

Among the municipalities covered by the proposed agropolis are Lubao, Guagua, Santa Rita, Bacolor, San Luis, San Simon, Apalit, Santo Tomas, Santa Ana and Magalang. The main products are rice, corn and sugar cane, as well as livestock and poultry products. This will be complemented by pottery and casket making (Santo Tomas), wood carving and furniture making (Guagua), metal making, guitar making and clothing and textiles, among others.

The Aquapolis or the metropolitan area of ​​Pampanga which thrives on water will bring together the geographical, historical and cultural affinity of Pampanga with the river, as well as its rich aquatic resources.

Pampanga’s aquatic production represented 60 percent of the total fishery production in central Luzon in 2012.

The proposed aquapolis will take into account the strengths and potentials of Sasmuan, Macabebe, Minalin, Lubao and Masantol.

Aquatic products include tilapia, bangus, sugpo, alimango, ulang wild hito, and dalang.

Finally, the Ecopolis de Pampanga will promote the rich natural attractions of the province and ecotourism activities such as bird watching in the wetlands of Candaba, hiking in the Dorst and Arayat mountains and community ecotourism in Porac and Floridablanca.

“Having clusters dedicated to ecotourism would help preserve the natural environment while generating funds for municipalities. It helps locals, especially locals, to earn a living, while also giving guests the opportunity to learn and experience, ”Arroyo said.

Arayat and Candaba form one ecopolis group in the northeast, while Porac and Floridablanca form another in the western part of the megalopolis of Pampanga. (RP)


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