CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga—The massive infrastructure development projects being undertaken by the Duterte administration under the “Build, Build, Build” program in Central Luzon has created more jobs and sources of livelihood for the residents including the indigenous peoples (IP) in the region.
Topping the list of big-ticket projects in Central Luzon is the New Clark City of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) which will be the first smart, green, and resilient metropolis in the country.
One of the components of the 9,450-hectare New Clark City is the National Government Administrative Center (NGAC) which broke ground last January 23.
Phase 1A of NGAC also features the construction of world-class sports facilities to be used for the Southeast Asian Games in November 2019.
Since the start of the construction of the New Clark City, doors of economic opportunities opened to the residents, including the indigenous peoples (IPs) living in the area.Jaymar Tiglao, a resident of Sitio Kalangitan, Capas, Tarlac, said their living condition has improved since the start of the development project.
Tiglao said his life is better because he now has a more stable job compared in the past when he just planted camote and other crops which did not yield much profit. He is one of the more than 300 Aetas who are now employed in the construction of Phase 1A of the NGAC.
Tiglao said as a safety crew, he earns PHP15,000 to PHP18,000 per month. “Mas okay dito. Noon nakapagtrabaho ako dito, nakabili na ako ng dalawang motorcycle (It is better here. When I started working here, I was able to buy two motorcycles),” he said.
Reynaldo Medrano, chieftain of Sitio Kalangitan, added that residents in their village have become productive since the start of the construction of the New Clark City. “Nagpapasalamat kami dahil wala na yung walang trabaho. Nawala na ang mga tambay sa aming lugar. Nandoon sila sa New Clark City (We are thankful because there are no more jobless residents.
There is no one hanging around and doing nothing anymore. They are there in New Clark City),” he said. Aside from employment, roads being built to and from New Clark City have provided access and connectivity for the residents, farmers and IPs. “The roads give benefits especially those living in far-flung barangays.
Residents, particularly farmers can now easily transport their goods and service going to town,” said Engineer Joshua Bingcang, BCDA senior vice president for Business Development and Operations. Besides New Clark City, other Build, Build, Build projects such as the Clark International Airport (CIA) Expansion Project, Central Luzon Link Expressway-Phase I, Arterial (Plaridel) By-Pass Road Project Phase II, and Subic-Clark Railway Project (SCRP) among others, also provided vast opportunities to residents in the region.
To meet the high manpower demand for the projects, a job fair initiated by the Build, Build, Build Inter-Agency Committee was held last May 1 where 490 people were hired on the spot.
Likewise, officials of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in the region have discussed areas of cooperation to address shortage of employment for ongoing and future “Build, Build, Build” projects.
These are on-site training of workers, assessment and certification of workers in the construction sector and hiring of the graduates of construction trades within the community where the infrastructure projects are located. (PNA)