By Charissa Luci-Atienza
The House Committee on Government Enterprises and Privatization and House Committee on Transportation have jointly approved a substitute bill creating the Philippine Airport Development Corporation (PADC) that would keep an eye on the construction, maintenance and operation of airports all over the country.
The panels, chaired by South Cotabato Rep. Jesus Nonato Sacdalan and Catanduanes Rep. Cesar Sarmiento approved with amendments the substitute bill to House Bills 7306, 6327, 4114, 7047 and 7165.
The measure seeks the creation of an airport management that would ensure and accelerate the development of air transport facilities and services in the country.
The joint committee agreed to exclude the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) as among the existing airport authorities that shall be abolished as originally provided for in the bill.
The MCIAA shall be retained “on the ground that it is operating profitably and efficiently.”
Under the bill, PADC is tasked to undertake all manner of business and development projects for the establishment of a reliable and more efficient airport industry.
The technical working group (TWG) of the joint panel, chaired by Bohol Rep. Rene Relampagos recommended to specify that the PADC’s functions and powers “will not include the control, supervision, maintenance and operation of air traffic facilities and navigation engineering.”
According to Relampagos, the TWG added a transitory provision seeking the establishment of a body to oversee the transition period and the transfer of properties.
The bill seeks to abolish the authorities managing international airports, namely the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC), and Subic Bay Metropolitan Department Airport Department.
Various government agencies rallied behind the passage of the bill. These include Governance Commission for Government-owned and controlled Corporations (GCG),Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and Export Development Council (EDC).
Airline companies like Philippine Airlines (PAL) and Cebu Pacific also expressed support to the bill.