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Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Aviation firm to pour $40-M investment in Clark, ES Ochoa: Steps being taken to address security problems in Mindanao

A leading business aviation firm in Asia is putting up a $40-million maintenance, repair and overhaul facility in Clark, sending a strong signal to the international community that the Philippines is ready to play a central role in the global aviation industry.

Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. said on Tuesday that Metrojet, which owns a fleet of 26 aircraft of various types and capacities, will set up the facility in a three-hectare property inside the Clark Airport Complex, citing a report by Transportation and Communications Secretary Jose P. De Jesus to President Benigno Aquino III.

Metrojet, a part of Kadoorie Group which owns China Light and Power Company and the Peninsula Hotel Chain, is scheduled to begin construction of the project in June and commence operations by the end of the year in Clark, a former air base of the United States which is now home to commercial, industrial and hotel businesses.

It will offer a range of services such as aircraft charter, comprehensive aircraft management, maintenance, co-ownership programs, aircraft acquisition and sales. The aviation firm’s proposed heavy maintenance for Clark will also include avionics upgrade and exterior paint work for aircraft.

“The President has announced that the country is open for business, and the decision of Metrojet to set up a shop in Clark is proof that foreign investors are listening,” Ochoa said.

Total investment for the entire project of Metrojet is $40 million, with an initial investment of $4 million.

In his report to the President, De Jesus said that Metrojet announced its plan to develop the aviation repair and maintenance facility in the strategically located Clark Airport Complex during the Asian Aerospace Conference in Hong Kong last March.

“Our government is focused on assuring investors that we are serious about undertaking reforms that will make it attractive for them to invest in the country. These include efforts to provide a level playing field for businessmen and guaranteeing them a government that is consistent with its policies and is faithful to the rule of law,” Ochoa explained.

“This is a welcome development that underscores the inroads we are making in the area of Economic and Infrastructure Development, one of the four clusters this Administration is focused on,” he added. The other three clusters are Human Development, Good Governance, and Security, Sovereignty and the Rule of Law. ###





Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa on Monday said that steps were being taken to address the peace and order situation in Mindanao as he assured that the kidnapping incident in Agusan del Sur was an isolated case.  


Malacañang is continuously monitoring the situation to ensure a peaceful end to the stand-off between authorities and abductors of 16 teachers and students in Prosperidad town, Agusan del Sur, Ochoa told a radio interview.


“We are monitoring what’s on the ground and we believe this can be resolved,” Ochoa said.


According to the Executive Secretary, the present administration is firm in its determination to put an end to kidnapping activities and other security problems in Mindanao.


These security concerns, Ochoa said, highlight the need for the government to modernize the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and strengthen the crime prevention policy of the Philippine National Police.


He added that crime prevention will remain a policy of the government on top of crime solution. “Of course, if a crime is committed we have to solve it; but crime prevention is more important, more than anything else. Our focus is on crime prevention,” Ochoa said.


Crime prevention is any initiative or policy which reduces or eliminates the aggregate level of victimization or the risk of individual criminal participation.


It includes government and community-based programs to reduce the incidents of risk factors related with criminal participation and the rate of victimization, as well as efforts to change perceptions.



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