MANILA — The Philippines hopes to become Asia's logistic center, President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. said Wednesday during the opening of a new terminal building of the Clark International Airport in Pampanga, a facility that he said will help the country achieve such goal.
"This facility is another building block to what we hope to become a logistic center of Asia, the Philippines," Marcos said.
The president underscored the importance of opening more airports in regions to give way for more travelers and also decongest the airport in the capital Manila.
"We need this, we need more, we have many plans for the airport in Manila, we have many plans for the airport surrounding Manila para naman dumami at mas madali ang pagpasok ng ating mga magiging bisita," said Marcos.
While some airports are still underway, namely those in Bulacan, Sangley in Cavite, and others still being proposed, existing facilities in the regions must be already be opened, he said.
"Huwag natin pinipilit na lahat kailangan dumaan ng Maynila. So, direct na sa Bohol, direct na sa Cebu, direct sa CDO, direct sa Davao na mayroon na rin, pero ganoon-ganoon, para hindi na kailangang dumaan ng Maynila," Marcos said.
In opening the new airport facility, Marcos said it signals the country's commitment to business and more investments.
The Office of the Press Secretary said the 110,000 square-meter building at Clark airport aims to decongest the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
It was built to accommodate around 8 million passengers annually.
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"It is state-of-the-art, and this is one of the things that we will continue to do in the future to bring you all to come and be partners with the Philippines to help the lives of our people, to help the Philippine economy, and para pagandahin ang buhay ng Pilipino, para pagandahin naman natin ang Pilipinas," said Marcos.
The government in 2017 said the construction of some regional airports are underway.
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) said that development of the Bacolod-Silay Airport, New Bohol Airport, Davao International Airport, Iloilo Airport, and Laguindingan Airport was funded through Official Development Assistance or through their inclusion in the national budget from being programs under public-private partnerships.
Collectively, the five airport projects are worth over P110 billion.