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DPWH sees CMAR extension benefit to Clark workers

DPWH-3 Regional Director Roseller Tolentino

MABALACAT CITY – The Department of Public Works and Highways has weighed in on the recent completion of the Clark-Mabalacat-Angeles Road (CMAR), citing its benefits to tens of thousands of workers that come from this city and adjoining towns.

During the Kapihan Sa Bagong Pilipinas, DPWH Regional Director Roseller Tolentino said that the newly opened 1.2-kilometer extension of CMAR benefits workers inside Clark Freeport who come from northern areas like Bamban, Capas and Concepcion in Tarlac. The nationwide forum was organized locally by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Central Luzon office.

He cited in particular the savings from what would have been an incurred cost on house rental fees when workers have to live inside the Freeport.

“Malaking bagay yun sa mga empleyado natin dahil lahat, kapag sa loob sila tumira mahal. Kailangan sila lumabas para dito mas mura sa Mabalacat, sa Angeles,” (Clark workers save a lot from renting a house. They need to reside outside where it is less expensive) Tolentino said.

“Makakapasok pa sila mas maaga o kahit tanghali na, makakarating sila sa kanilang trabaho (sa oras),” he added.

Clark Freeport has about 140,000 workers where more than 50 percent hail from Metro Clark areas like Mabalacat City, Bamban and Capas towns of Tarlac province.

Tolentino described the CMAR extension as a milestone project that decongests Manila North Road (MacArthur Highway). He added that it forms part of the “convergence” program of the government via road connectivity.

Officially opened last May 10, the CMAR extension from Velasquez Street in Mabalacat Gate to Barangay San Joaquin has significantly reduced congestion along the Sta. Ines-MacArthur Highway intersection. Travel time to and from the Main Gate in Balibago, Angeles City has been reduced from 15 to 30 mins.

PIA-3 Regional Director William Beltran, Tolentino and other DPWH officials

PIA Regional Director William Beltran also noted of the impact of the P114-million road to local economy.

“Roads like this one really contribute to movement not just of people but also of goods and services,” Beltran said.

Tolentino cited the help of the Mabalacat City Government and the Clark Development Corporation.

The CMAR Extension was officially opened by Mayor Cris Garbo, CDC President Atty Agnes Devanadera, DPWH Execs Assistant Regional Director Engr. Melquiades Sto. Domingo, District Engr. Arnold Ocampo and Assistant District Engineer Agustin Dagsaan. It was first planned by CDC during the time of former president of the state firm Noel Manankil. The original road from Main Gate to Mabalacat Gate was a brainchild of former DOTr Secretary Arthur P. Tugade when he headed CDC from 2012 to 2015.