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๐‚๐ˆ๐€๐‚, ๐”๐’๐€๐ˆ๐ƒ ๐ ๐ซ๐š๐ง๐ญ๐ž๐ž ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฉ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ž๐ž๐ซ ๐‚๐ฅ๐š๐ซ๐ค ๐ฆ๐ž๐ ๐š ๐Ÿ๐จ๐จ๐ ๐ก๐ฎ๐›

Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) signed today, March 18, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of the Philippines Public Administration Research and Extension Services Foundation (UPPAF) for technical assistance and expert advice in the establishment of a 64-hectare Clark National Mega Food Hub at the civil aviation complex.

COLLABORATION FOR THE NATIONAL FOOD HUB.ย The Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) and the University of the Philippines Public Administration Research and Extension Services Foundation (UPPAF) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for technical assistance and expert advice in the establishment of the 64-hectare Clark National Mega Food Hub at the Clark Civil Aviation Complex on March 18, 2024 at the Quest Plus Conference Center-Clark in the Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga. Signing the MOU are: CIAC President and CEO Arrey Z. Perez (seated, second from left) and UPPAF Chief of Party Dr. Enrico L. Basilio (seated, second from right) while CIAC Director Dr. Goldwin Posadas (seated, left) and USAID Deputy Director Dr. Eric Florimon-Reed (seated, right) sign as witnesses. The Clark National Mega Food Hub is one of CIACโ€™s 7 Flagship Projects of CIAC to establish the Clark Airport City.ย (CIAC-CCO)

The UPPAF is a beneficiary of a grant from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for its Regulatory Reform Support Program for National Development (RESPOND) Project, a policy regulatory reform program in the Philippines to support the promotion of regional development.

CIAC president Arrey Perez said the pioneering mega food hub project at Clark is a major step in conformity with the priorities under the Marcos administrationโ€™s investment and economic policies.

Estimated cost of the project, which is expected completion in 2028, is US$152 million via public-private partnership or joint venture mode.

Early this year, Malacaรฑangโ€™s Investment and Economic Affairs, headed by Secretary Frederick Go, outlined a list which included food and agriculture as among the key sectors for economic development and priority industries for investments.

โ€œThe MOU is our initial move in answer to Secretary Goโ€™s advice to President Marcos, to boost agriculture production, increase post-harvest facilities, improve the food logistical chain which the mega food hub in Clark will soon provide,โ€ Perez said.

The UPPAF was represented by chief of party Dr. Enrico Basilio and was joined by USAIDโ€™s deputy director Dr. Eric Florimon-Reed during the MOU signing.

Aside from expert technical advice, the UPPAF will also assist the CIAC in the multi-modal transport planning and development in support of the food hub, along with other flagship projects of the CIAC.

โ€œThe mega food hub will have cutting-edge facilities at a prime location in proximity to the Clark International Airport (CRK) with cargo, logistics and warehousing capabilities, plus a distinct advantage by having a seamless road network and a nearby seaport in Subic that allows for the viability of a large-scale agriculture resource operation,โ€ Perez said.

โ€œThe projectโ€™s success will no doubt increase overall agricultural productivity, revitalize our countryโ€™s exports sector, and boost the operations of the Clark airport,โ€ Perez added.

Perez also noted that no less than US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo who visited the Philippines two weeks ago recognized the immense potential of the Philippines, โ€œwhich is how they left with no less than a billion dollars in investmentsโ€.

He added the US official posed a challenge โ€œto capitalize on the historic momentum in US-Philippine relations and to seize new opportunities related to clean energy, digital transformation and the innovation economy, and supply chain resilience.โ€

โ€œThis is everything that the food hub stands for, that is why this project is timely and urgent and aligns with the Marcos administrationโ€™s thrust of ensuring our countryโ€™s food security and sustainability,โ€ Perez noted.

The Clark National Mega Food Hub will provide a comprehensive range of services such as food warehousing, cold storage, processing, marketing and trading for both local and international markets which are all governed by rigorous research and quality control, he added.

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