CLARK FREEPORT — Clark Development Corporation (CDC) officers and employees offered a minute of silence, while the Philippine flag was flown at half-mast, during the flag-raising ceremonies at the Freeport this morning in honor of the late Former President Fidel V. Ramos (FVR).
President and CEO Manuel R. Gaerlan led CDC officers and workers in paying tribute to FVR who passed away over the weekend.
Gaerlan, a former Police Brigadier General who served as FVR’s aide-de-camp, said that “President Ramos was the major catalyst for nation building during his term in 1992-1998. Under his leadership, CDC was established after he signed EO No. 80 in 1993.”
“This catapulted the creation of CDC as the implementing arm of BCDA in this Freeport. He will forever be remembered as a lead advocate in promoting economic development in the country,” he added.
On a personal note, Gaerlan expressed his sympathy towards the Ramos family during this very difficult time.
“Ang CDC, kasama ng buong Gaerlan family, ay lubos na nalulungkot sa pagkawala ng dating Pangulong Fidel V. Ramos. The lessons I learned from him when I served as his Aide-de-Camp and Security Officer guided me in my career in the Philippine National Police and in Clark as CEO. He is truly an inspirational leader,” he said.
For his part, CDC Chairman Atty. Edgardo D. Pamintuan conveyed his condolences in a statement posted on his Facebook page.
According to Pamintuan, FVR made sure that the BCDA law was implemented, which made it possible for cities, towns and provinces surrounding the former Clark Air Force base to recover from the devastating effects of the Pinatubo eruption and lahar.
“From a desolate piece of land, Clark is now a Philippine Freeport and special economic zone generating roughly 120,000 jobs and has contributed 6 billion pesos in revenues to the national coffers,” he stated.
Pamintuan also said that FVR “turned former American bases into industrial estates and Freeport zones. He saw the promise of converting these lands into economic possibilities that provide investments, jobs and livelihood for many Filipinos.”
In March 2021, CDC officials passed a resolution recognizing the role and contributions of FVR to the development and growth of Clark Freeport and its international airport. The resolution, which was initiated by Gaerlan, recognized FVR as the Father of CDC.