Malacañang on Thursday, November 28, confirmed that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte appointed former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as his adviser for the Clark Freeport Zone programs and projects.
Arroyo was chosen for her “vast experience” leading the country and for her “great concern” for Pampanga. She will be compensated P1 per year, according to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.
“We confirm that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has signed the appointment of former President and former Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as Presidential Adviser on Clark Flagship Programs and Projects, with compensation rate of One Peso (P1.00) per annum, on Nov. 24, 2020,” he said.
He added, “Arroyo’s wisdom and her vast experience as a former head of state and head of government, coupled with her great concern in her native Pampanga, would be valuable as she would assist the Administration in the planning and execution of programs and projects to turn Clark as the next premier metropolis of Asia.”
Arroyo thanked Duterte and vowed to turn Clark into “Asia’s economic powerhouse in the 2020s.”
“In this time of pandemic and the worst global recession in nearly a century, the rapid harnessing of the Clark-Subic service logistics corridor for jobs, investment and inclusive development is indispensable for national recovery,” she said in a statement.
“This is an immense undertaking that was one of my priority thrusts during my presidency, and I am grateful to President Rodrigo Duterte for his trust in empowering me to provide advice on this economy-boosting initiative once more,” she added.
The Bases Conversion and Development Authority, which leads the construction of the National Government Administrative Center (NGAC) inside New Clark City, welcomed Arroyo’s appointment.
“Her wisdom and gravitas will be invaluable in making the vision of Clark as the next premier metropolis of Asia a reality,” it said in a statement.
The Clark Freeport Zone is located in Pampanga, Arroyo’s home province.
After being the country’s president from January 2001 to June 2010, Arroyo served as congresswoman of Pampanga’s second district for three consecutive terms.
She became House Speaker from 2018 to 2019 and currently serves as a consultant of the Pampanga provincial government.