Gaerlan is new president and CEO of Clark Dev’t Corp.

Published January 14, 2021, 10:24 PM

by Patrick Garcia

Retired Brigadier General  Manuel Gaerlan officially took his oath as the new Clark Development Corporation (CDC) president and chief executive officer Thursday.

CDC Chairman Vince Dizon administers the oath of Board Member Manuel R. Gaerlan as CDC President during the regular CDC Board meeting held on January 14, 2021 at Clark Special Economic Zone in Pampanga. (Photo from Clark Development Corporation)

Gaerlan then met with the CDC management team to discuss the need to focus on the economic “reset, rebound and recover” plan as the country continues to face the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said that as the other government agencies work on testing, vaccination and quarantines, the CDC should concentrate on enhancing the business of the economic zone in support of the national government’s efforts in combatting the impact of the pandemic.

He also reminded them of the CDC’s vision that “by 2030, it shall be a modern, sustainable aerotropolis and the preferred MICE and tourism destination in the Asia-Pacific Region.”

The newly appointed president also encouraged his team to be more competitive against other countries in the region.

“Clark is not in the battle between cities and provinces. It is not competing against Manila. Clark’s competition is Indonesia, Vietnam and even China,” Gaerlan said.

“All efforts and resources should be directed to achieving the vision and in recovering grounds lost to other countries,” he added.

Some of his general directives include the use of modern technologies in CDC’s systems, methods and procedures; paying attention on the ease of doing business; and, enhancing the welfare of the human resource of both CDC and the locators.

He then bared his plans to meet with stakeholders in and around the zone and hold an audience with the indigenous people (IP) communities to develop activities through which they can participate in and benefit from the economic activities in Clark.

Presidential Adviser on Clark Flagship Projects Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (seated center) and Pampanga Vice Governor Lilia Pineda (seated, 2nd from right) took time to pose for a photo with CDC President Manuel R. Gaerlan (seated, extreme right) and other guests at Clark Special Economic Zone. Gaerlan paid the former president a courtesy call where they discussed the directions they will jointly take to make Clark the destination of choice for business and leisure in Asia-Pacific. (Photo from Clark Development Corporation)

His appointment as the president of CDC and of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as Presidential Adviser for Clark Development shows that the current administration is giving importance and recognition to the economic bloc as a beacon for development and impetus for prosperity.

Bases Conversion and Development Authority chief and IATF member Vince Dizon is currently the acting chairman of CDC.

Gaerlan graduated from the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) in 1985 and was recognized as one of the three Most Awarded Cadets of the academy since 1905, receiving 13 awards during graduation, including the Presidential and Prime Minister Saber for being No. 1 among 211 cadets.

He also holds a Masters in Management (with Distinction) from the Asian Institute of Management.