By Charissa Luci-Atienza
The House Committee on Ways and Means has approved a substitute bill seeking the creation of the Philippine Airport Development Corporation (PADC) that would keep an eye on the construction, maintenance and operation of airports all over the country.
The House panel, chaired by Nueva Ecija Rep. Estrellita Suansing, passed the unnumbered bill, a consolidation of four measures.
“We have approved the bill seeking the creation of PADC. ” she said in an interview.
The substitute measure seeks the creation of an airport management that would ensure and accelerate the development of air transport facilities and services in the country.
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.
In October last year, the bill hurdled the House Committee on Government Enterprises and Privatization and House Committee on Transportation, chaired by South Cotabato Rep. Jesus Nonato Sacdalan and Catanduanes Rep. Cesar Sarmiento, respectively.
Under the measure, the PADC’s functions and powers “will not include the control, supervision, maintenance and operation of air traffic facilities and navigation engineering.”
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.
Authors of the bill include former Speaker and Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez, Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Ty Pimentel, Zamboanga City Rep. Manuel Jose Dalipe, and Bohol Reps. Rene Relampagos and Erico Aristotle Aumentado.
The Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) was excluded as among the existing airport authorities that shall be abolished “on the ground that it is operating profitably and efficiently.”
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.