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Cavite residents welcome Sangley Point development
Source: Manila Bulletin
Author: Del Villanueva
Date: 2002-04-12
CAVITE City – City officials and residents here have welcomed Malacañang’s move to pursue the implementation of a long-time proposal for the development of Sangley Point into a major airport and seaport hub in the country.

They said that the conversion of the former American base, now the home of the 15th Strike Wing of the Philippine Air Force and Philippine Fleet of the Navy will surely help uplift the ailing economy of the city which once flourished during the presence of US servicemen in the area.

At that time, they said the city was a popular tourist destination because of its robust economy, fine beach resorts and historical places making it the No. 1 premier area not only in Cavite but also in the entire Southern Tagalog Region.

According to them, since the Americans left in the early 70’s, the economic life of the city suffered a major setback and the city has lagged behind other progressive Cavite towns.

Mayor Totie Paredes said many residents have expressed the hope that their long-time clamor for Sangley Point’s development would be realized now that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has given the go signal for the conduct of a feasibility study on the development of Sangley Point into a major container port and alternate international airport.

He said that his constituents are hoping that the Chief Executive is very sincere in her desire to help boost their socio-economic life and the entire province as well, which will benefit from the influx of investors and businessmen once the development of Sangley Point is implemented.

The proposal for the conversion of Sangley Point was reportedly approved by then President Cory Aquino upon the intercession of then Cavite governor Johnny Remulla.

However, it was not able to push through when then President Fidel Ramos shot down the idea allegedly on the advise of military officials who cited the importance of the former American base in the security of Metro Manila, particularly during coup d’etat.

According to Paredes, he got an opportunity to revive the proposal during a meeting by city officials and barangay leaders with President Arroyo at the Malacañang Palace last month.

Also in attendance during the meeting were Cavite Gov. Ayong S. Maliksi and Cong. Plaridel Abaya of the First District of Cavite.

“The President who was in good mood at that time asked me on what she can do to help Cavite City which she proudly said is very close to her heart because her grandmother Scholastica Romero was from the place,” the mayor quipped.

“I immediately answered back that the city’s ailing economy needs to be revived and to be able to do this, Sangley Point should be developed into a major shipping and airport hub,” he said.

Earlier, it was reported that the President had received from an inter-agency group headed by Defense Secretary Angelo Reyes an overview of the Sangley Point Development Project (SPDP) that calls for, among others, the reclamation of some 4,000 hectares near Sangley Point.

Under the SPDP plan, a modern naval-air base is to be built in Sangley Point where a big seaport, that could service giant ‘super panamax’ container ships, and international airport would also be located.

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