New Clark City to host $152-M food logistics hub

New Clark City to host $152-M food logistics hub

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) have signed an agreement on Monday to build a $152-million food hub in New Clark City.

At the signing event, the Trade Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual said that the Clark National Food Hub brings forward the DTI’s food logistics strategy centered on improving distribution networks.

“This memorandum of understanding (MoU) will accelerate the government’s efforts to make food available, accessible, and more affordable to the consuming public,” Mr. Pascual said.

“It will be a catalyst in the region for developing a food and agro-industrial corridor that we hope to expand to Region 1 and possibly Region 2,” he added.

Under the MoU, the DTI is responsible for assisting the parties in attracting investment for the construction and management of the food hub.

Aside from the DTI, the Department of Agriculture (DA) is also a signatory to the MoU and is tasked to leading the development of a policy framework, raising public investment, and arranging support services for domestic and export-oriented businesses.

The DA pre-signed the MoU prior to the signing ceremony on Feb. 19 in Makati.

One of the flagship projects of the CIAC, Clark National Food Hub is a 64-hectare agriculture trading hub within the Clark Civil Aviation Complex.

CIAC President Arrey A. Perez said the food hub’s feasibility study will be completed by the third quarter, aided by the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center and the Asian Development Bank.

“We are making much headway with the PPP Center in completing the project preparation stages, and working round the clock to identify key investors, major food conglomerates, and other private-sector partners so we can break ground soonest,” Mr. Perez said.

With the completion of the study, the CIAC will be open the project for bidding by late this year and award the project next year.

CIAC has six other projects — the Clark Entertainment and Events Center, Urban Renewal and Heritage Conservation Program, Clark Direct Access Link, Entertainment and Events Center Connector Road, the new CIAC headquarters and a second runway for the airport.

“I think these projects will have an estimated cost of about P30 billion,” Mr. Perez said, noting that the first phases of the projects are targeted for completion by 2028.

The infrastructure projects, such as those that involve roads and utilities, are targeted for completion by next year. — Justine Irish D. Tabile