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PIA Press Release

Angeles City endorses interconnection of Subic-Clark corridor phone lines

Clark Freeport (20 February) -- The Angeles City Council has strongly endorsed the interconnection of phone lines along the Subic-Clark corridor in a resolution unanimously approved by its members on Tuesday, February 17.

In a resolution sponsored by Councilors Jesus "Jay" Sangil and Ruben Maniago, the City Council said they are "endorsing the move of the Metro Clark Advisory Council (MCAC) to press for immediate interconnection of telecommunications facilities in Clark Freeport Zone with those in Tarlac and Zambales."

"It would definitely fast-track business and greatly minimize costs to local residents," Sangil said referring to the MCAC-initiated project which earned distinction from no less than President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Sangil, likewise, called on other executives of Local Government Units (LGUs) situated along the Subic-Clark corridor to support the move saying it will attract investors and provide jobs for residents.

"I am urging our counterparts in government in the cities, towns along the SCTEx to follow suit and support the same as it will invite investors and eventually create employment for our constituents," Sangil said.

In the resolution, the city council said the "Cark Freeport and the Subic Clark Tarlac Growth Corridor is being foreseen as one of the world's major economic hubs and catalysts for development, hence, a major employment generator in North Philippines."

Also, "the development and improvement of infrastructure facilities, including the establishment of state-of-the-art telecommunications in the Metro Clark Area (Clark FZ, Pampanga and Tarlac) enhances the viability of the Metro Clark Area as a choice investment destination."

The city council also noted the importance of providing interconnected telephone exchanges saying it "is vital in minimizing costs to investors and their clientele that include government offices."

"Interconnecting telephone exchanges in Metro Clark Area is keeping with the integration policy of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) where long distance and other toll charges are waived," the resolution also said.

"The general welfare clause of the Local Government Code, among other things, obliges us to support moves of major employment generators," it furthered.

In December 2008, President Arroyo bestowed an award to Clark officials led by CDC President Benigno N. Ricafort for the telecommunications interconnection project that was one of the top 10 winners of the 1st Gawad Pampublikong Korporasyon (1st GPK).

According to Ricafort, the CDC's winning entry was conceived in 2001 and aims to interconnect Clark's telephone lines to Angeles City and the City of San Fernando, as well as other areas in the province of Pampanga.

He added that the interconnection project was an initiative of the MCAC- an influential partnership group between the CDC and contingent Local Government Units (LGUs) within the Metro Clark area.

CDC Public Relations Manager Angelo "Sonny" Lopez said the project paved the way for phone companies like the Philippine Long Distance and Telecommunications Company (PLDT), Smart Telecommunications (Smart), and the Digitel to provide toll free calls to its subscribers in Clark and the rest of Pampanga.

Lopez, who is MCAC secretariat and headed the original "Task Force Interconnection," stressed that residents, locators, and investors inside the Clark Freeport are now saving at least P13.2 million yearly on long distance calls because of the project.

"The CDC alone has saved as much as P1.2 million per year since this project was implemented<' Lopez added. (CDC thru PIA-Pampanga) [top]

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