Completion of Clark International Airport to generate 200,000 new jobs

Published March 27, 2019, 8:30 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Senator Joel Villanueva expects the planned expansion of the Clark International Airport to open some 200,000 job vacancies once completed.

Senator Joel Villanueva at the Senate on Monday, November 14, 2016. Villanueva was ordered dismissed by the Office of the Ombudsman. Photo by Jansen Romero
Senator Joel Villanueva (Jansen Romero / MANILA BULLETIN)

Villanueva, chair of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources, joined on Wednesday officials of the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Department of Finance and the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) in inspecting the construction site of the P9.6-billion passenger terminal building which is expected to increase by four-fold the airport’s annual passenger capacity to eight million.

The new airport facility within the Clark Freeport Zone will open mid-2020, according to the DOTr.

Citing estimates by the BCDA, Villanueva expressed optimism that the expanded airport will be able to provide fresh opportunities for workers in Central Luzon.

He said the expanded airport will generate 200,000 direct and indirect jobs.

Direct jobs refer to roles that have something to do with airport operations such as air traffic controllers, aircraft maintenance, among other jobs; while indirect jobs pertain to support services such as airport maintenance, grounds keeping, security, and similar roles.

“We have always thrown our support for infrastructure projects such as this facility. Airports have a multiplier effect on the local economy, and we will be looking at giving more jobs to our kababayans here in Central Luzon without them having the need to set off somewhere else,” Villanueva said at the sidelines of the site-inspection event led by BCDA.

Villanueva further noted that with the airport expansion, other industries, such as tourism, may benefit in the completion of the project.

“We are also optimistic that the expanded airport reinforces the reputation of Clark Freeport as one of the prime investment destinations in Central Luzon. The airport boosts Clark’s attractiveness to investors, and more investments generally lead to more jobs opportunities,” he said.

The Clark International Airport Expansion Project is the first hybrid project under the “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program of the government.

Under the hybrid scheme, the government will shell out funds to construct the facility to guarantee its delivery and bid out the operations and maintenance contract to the private sector.