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Arroyo appointment as adviser on Clark projects a big boost — BCDA

Arroyo appointment as adviser on Clark projects a big boost — BCDA

MANILA, Philippines — Former president as the Presidential Adviser on Clark Programs and Projects is seen to be a boost to the development of the area, the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) said.

President Rodrigo Duterte’s appointment of Arroyo was revealed on Thursday, although the document was signed last Tuesday.

“We greatly welcome the appointment of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as Presidential Adviser on Clark Programs and Projects,” BCDA said in a statement.

“Her wisdom and gravitas will be invaluable in making the vision of Clark as the next premier metropolis of Asia a reality,” it added.

The Clark Freeport Zone, all of 4,300 hectares, is home to the Clark International Airport, which is getting a railway from Manila. The zone hosted more than 1,000 export firms with 140,000 workers before the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is seen as an alternative metropolis for Metro Manila, to ease the congestion of the National Capital Region (NCR).

After stepping down from office in 2010, Arroyo, a Pampanga native, faced a deluge of corruption accusations, although none has been proven in court.  She then ran as representative of Pampanga’s second district, becoming Speaker in 2018. [ac]