CLARK FREEPORT ZONE, Pampanga — A top official of the Clark Development Corporation (CDC) revealed over the weekend that a total of 1,229 companies are now operating inside CDC, employing 114,891 office personnel and workers in this state-owned corporation.
This was disclosed by Eric Jimenez, officer in charge of the CDC communication division, who said that despite the pandemic, Clark under Gen. Manuel Gaerlan, (retired) CDC was able to cushion the negative effects of the pestilence in the economy.
“CDC resiliently emerges from the wreckage of the pandemic during the stint of General Gaerlan due to his strong leadership; if you are a weak leader, you are nothing here,” said Jimenez, a former college instructor and active newsman.
Gaerlan’s predecessor Noel Manankil who had been president of CDC for quite long time, has suddenly tendered his irrevocable resignation last October 30, 2020, to the surprise of many who believed that being a president of CDC is an honor and some claim a ‘juicy’ position.
Manankil cited personal reasons such as attending their family business for quitting his job. Some believe, however, that there were controversial issues hounding his leadership.
“We admire the strong and brave leadership of our President Gaerlan, dahil hindi ka pwedeng presidente dito kung hindi ka matapang,” pointed out Jimenez.
Last week, Noel Tulabut, manager of CDC’s Communication division, also suddenly availed of early retirement but, some media claimed, he is still young, capable and energetic to do the job.
According to Jimenez, most of the locators here are engaged in factory, semiconductor and Business process outsourcing.
“Our baseline would be December 2019, or what we call the pre-pandemic period. During that time, we have 1,260 locators. If we will compare that with the 1,226 locators in 2020, we can say that the reduction in number is just very small. It is just around three percent of what were originally operating prior to COVID-19, so we are happy to see that at least Clark is gradually recovering,” said CDC Vice President for Administration and Finance Mariza Mandocdoc.
In terms of workers, CDC reported a 15.43% reduction in labor force from 136,418 in 2019 to 115,375 workers in 2020.
“A total of 114,891 workers is still a big number. Some of whom are on work from home arrangements. That means there are still 114,891 workers who are able to earn for their families. We are still happy about that,” the CDC exec said.
Mandocdoc disclosed that though they reported a 5.84% decrease in exports in 2020, they are still happy with the US$6.45 billion worth of exports inside the Freeport.
When it comes to the tourist arrivals, she said the 19.22% decrease from 721,571 total arrivals in 2019 to 582,902 tourists in 2020 is expected.
“Tourist activities became the most restricted of the activities in the zone during the height of the pandemic so we understand that. But now it’s able to pick up. By 2021 we expect that that will already improve,” she said.
According to the vice president, the good news is that total investments in the zone increased by 3.38% from PhP237 billion in 2019 to PhP245 billion last yearPublication Source : People's Tonight