Pampanga Area Including Clark and Angeles City
About Pampanga and its economic engine, Clark Freeport Zone, and Angeles City.
People call Pampanga by its largest city, Angeles, or simply Clark. Clark refers to the Freetrade Zone North of Angeles City, formerly a U.S. Air Force base, until Mount Pinatubo blew in 1991. The volcano eruption coincided with the cancellation of the leases at the base and Subic Naval Base by the Philippines Senate.
Angeles City is about 90 kilometers from Metro Manila and takes anywhere from 1.5 to 2.5 hours to reach by car service. With direct access through an international airport, multinationals have located in the Freeport Zone to claim tax advantages and abundant, well-educated staff.
The Province of Pampanga has a rich history. Known as the culinary capital of the Philippines, Anthony Bourdain explored the local cuisine on “No Reservations.” You can check the episode (Season 5, Episode 7) here.
Clark is the Area’s Light Manufacturing & BPO Hub
While Angeles City’s conveniences like club/bulk-shopping, inexpensive cost-of-living, and prodigious nightlife pull expatriates and military retirees, the Clark Freeport Zone anchors the modern manufacturing and outsourcing economy.
Beyond Clark’s sprawling business park, the area is a perennial candidate for high-speed rail connecting Manila’s overburdened airport and Clark’s international aerodrome. Using the Clark International Airport, the well-manicured freeport, and the less congested Central Luzon, developers, investors, and government officials have high hopes for the region.
The BPO Locator Brief
Clark brings most of the benefits of Metro Manila without the mega-urban challenges that plague the Philippines’ capital. Real estate and talent are widely available at near Manila rates. The only challenges for staffing might be staffing very specialized positions. That said, nowhere in the Philippines can touch Manila for ample talent or for the salary levels.