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CDC, NMP ink deal to establish National Museum in Clark

CLARK FREEPORT — A world-class museum facility that will highlight the natural and cultural heritage of Central Luzon, including the rich history of Clark will soon be developed inside this Freeport.

This was gleaned during the ceremonial signing of the Deed of Usufruct between Clark Development Corporation (CDC) and the National Museum of the Philippines (NMP) held on Wednesday at the National Museum of Fine Arts in Metro Manila. 

CDC President and CEO Atty. Agnes VST Devandera signed the deed on behalf of the state-owned corporation, while NMP was represented by Chairperson Andoni Mendieta Aboitiz and Deputy Director-General for Museums Jorell M. Legaspi

Other officials who witnessed the event and extended their support to the project are former NMP Chairperson and current Philippine Ambassador to Austria Evangelina Lourdes Arroyo-Bernas, NMP Director II for Visayas National Museum Atty. Maria Cecilia U. Tirol, and CDC Officer-in-Charge for Business Development and Business Enhancement Group Atty. Noelle Mina Meneses.

The former Clark Airbase Hospital (5.2 hectares area) and the former Eldorado property (1.3 hectares land) were identified as the official sites for the NMP’s proposed regional museum and satellite office.

The CDC Board of Directors, headed by its Chairman Atty. Edgardo Pamintuan, earlier approved the use of the said areas for 50 years, extendible for another 25 years.

In a statement, Aboitiz expressed elation about the project.  The chairperson also mentioned that their agency is optimistic that the facility will boost tourism activity in the region and in the Freeport.

“We are very happy and excited about this project because this will be a new venue for us to expand in Central Luzon. The site is a very historical building. It will give us a lot of space, and for that, we are very grateful. We would like to see this as a destination where people drive to Clark to see what the National Museum has to offer. For us, the success of this project, apart from the development, is also for tourism,” he said.

For her part, Devanadera said that the project is a welcome development in the Freeport as it complements CDC’s vision for Clark.

“Clark is very lucky that it has been chosen as the new home of the National Museum.  It will not just be a museum but it will also be home to the National Museum’s back office, warehouse, as well as the Planetarium. The architectural framework of the old Clark hospital goes well with the plan of the National Museum and we can say that this is going to be one of the grandest things that will happen in Clark,” she added.

Aside from showcasing the region’s history, arts, and culture, the National Museum in Clark is also set to feature natural history, anthropology, and archaeology. It will also include educational, cultural, scientific, entertainment, and tourism activities. Concurrently, the facility will serve as an off-site location for NMP’s central offices, national collection repositories, research, training, technical, and logistical operations among others.