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911 POLICE HOTLINE ACTIVATED AT CLARK
Luzon Chronicle
 
Clark Field, Pampanga -An emergency hotline has been installed and activated recently at the Clark Special Economic Zone.

Col. Renato Rosete, manager of the Security and Fire Department of the Clark Development Corp. (CDC) said that Clark's Crime Watch 911 wil be operational 24 hours a day to provide a more effective emergency response system for visitors, residents and business locators inside the zone.

The Clark emergency hotline is patterned after the 911 system in the United States which has the same objective, Rosete said.

He said that CDC authorities will discuss soon with members of the Metro Clark Advisory Council (MCAC) plans to expand the emergency hotline in communities around the Clark Zone. MCAC is composed of the mayors of Angeles City, Mabalacat, Porac, San Fernando, San Simon, Arayat and Apalit, all in Pampanga; Bamban, Capas and Conception in Tarlac.

Rosete explained that by dialing Clark line 911, the system will automatically find an open line at the Security and Fire Department offices and Clark security personnel will response to any emergency within few minutes.

Non-Clark telephone or cell phones can reach the emergency hotline by dialing (045) 599-911. The Clark 911 hotline service was made possible with the cooperation and assistance of Clark Telecom which agreed to incorporate the emergency response system into its operation for free.

 

SUBIC, CLARK OFFICIALS OPEN TALKS ON MERGER
Philippine Daily Inquirer
 
Clark Special Economic Zone - For nearly a century, Clark Air Base in Pampanga and Subic Naval Base in Zambales were big and crucial military facilities of the United States.

After nine years of a government-led base conversion process, Clark and Subic are undergoing their "third evolution." An "economic megalopolis" will soon reise from the merger of what now are the Clark Special Economic Zone and Subic Bay Freeport Zone to create an east-west growth triangle in Central Luzon, Bases Conversion and Development Authority chair Rogelio Singson said on Monday.

We are floating the idea of merging Subic and Clark and developing them as out country's version of the New York-New Jersey port authority in the United States," Singson told reporters in his first news conference as acting president in Clark Development Corp. here.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey was set up 75 years ago, giving Clark and Subic and archetype from which to pattern its plan. "We hope to promote them as one flagship project of the Estrada administration," Singson said.

President Estrada appointed Singson as concurrent acting president and chief executive of CDC, a subsidiary of the BCDA that oversees the development of Clark as an aviation-led economic zone.

The idea of a merger initially sprung from the Subic-Clark Alliance, worked out by Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority Chair Felicito Payumo and former CDC president Rufo Colayco, it was learned.

A merger, Singson said, could "maximize the base conversion funds and (result in) better prospects of attracting major foreign companies during investment missions abroad and faster implementation of vital infrastructure projects."

Merging these economic zones that evolved from the closure of the bases and Mt. Pinatubo's eruption in 1991 would also boost the country's competitiveness "by exploiting Subic's excellent deep water seaport and Clark's sprawling international airport."

Clark and Subic have a combined land and water area of 100,000 hectares. Apart from the vast lands, the former bases were left with a seaport and two airports, several facilities in communications, a 40-mile underground petroleum pipeline, oil depots, roads and buildings.

But the airports and the seport were most central in the planned merger, according to Singson. "What we will be marketing to the rest of the world is Subic's and Clark's capability to efficiently move goods and services," he stressed.

The merger would also entail the integration of CDC and the SBMA, Singson said. But that merging process would require legislative actions since the SBMA was also created by Republic Act 7227, the BCDA charter approved by Congress in 1991, he said. It would be easier to centralize, organization-wise, CDC since it is a subsidiary of the BCDA, he said.

The merger was not being pursued as a way of handling CDC better, Singson explained. CDC's leadership has been hounded by controvesies, coming from within the organization and from Clark's business community that made a joint outery against the alleged incompetence of past CDC president Sergio Naguiat Jr.

The Estrada administration, Singson said, was bent on pursuing the merger. The "first step" along that direction would be the planned P18.7-billion, 89.3-km Subic-Clark-Tarlac Toll Road, he said.

Singson, meanwhile, said he would terminate by July 31 the services of 54 CDC consultants who reportedly receive about P1 million in montly honoraria. He said the termination of CDC consultants was part of the ongoing "cleaning of the house" he was undertaking within the state-firm's organization.

Singson said CDC needed an established line of command instead of numerous consultants to make the organization more functional. "We will stick to formal organization, not informal authorities. Nakakahiya na kami sa labas. What we need is discipline, honesty and office decorum, and I already aksed the CDC employees to help me out and cooperate," he said.

He said under his management, he would establish a much closer linkage with the surrounding communities, including local officials and non-government organizations. Singson also stressed that the concerns of existing locators must be addressed.

"The investors are apparently neglected. We have to provide them good service and sufficient utilities like electricity," he said.

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