Poe

Poe: PPP best way for airport dev’t to take off

May 15, 2024 Camille P. Balagtas 81 views

SENATOR Grace Poe underscored that public-private partnership (PPP) is the viable option to develop Philippine airports and make them attractive to tourists.

“Ang aviation sector natin ay parang isang eroplanong hindi maka-take off dahil sa delays, cancellations, at kung ano-ano pang aberya. Handa na ang mga pasahero, naisakay na ang mga bagahe, pero ang piloto, hindi makapag-desisyon kung lilipad na ba,” the chairperson of the Senate committee on public services said in a hearing on the state of the country’s airports.

Poe said PPPs can support the upgrading projects of airports, which can be present and future drivers of economic growth.

A number of private groups have expressed interest in rehabilitating Philippine airports, but Poe said, “regulatory and procedural delays threaten our opportunity to have airports at world-class standards.”

“Year on year, we are presented with never-ending catch-up plans to improve the operations and maintenance of existing airports, or build new ones to address accessibility and demand,” she said.

For 2024 alone, Poe said the government allocated P7.5 billion for the construction, upgrade, expansion or rehabilitation of 22 airports across the country.

On top of this, she said the government has also granted budgetary support to government corporations under the aviation sector: P1.03 billion to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines and P121 million to the Davao International Airport Authority to increase its capacity to accommodate more international flights.

“Sa kabila ng regular na paglalaan ng pondo, hindi pa rin ramdam ng mga pasahero ang improvements sa ating mga paliparan. Bagkus, patong-patong na problema sa operasyon at maintenance ng mga airports ang kinakaharap ng mga mananakay,” she said.

“As frustrating and disappointing as it is, I think this comes as no surprise to us. Hindi nga nila matapos-tapos ang mga airport na ilang taon nang nakabinbin, may budget naman. Hindi tuloy mapakinabangan ng mga mananakay,” she added.

Poe continued, “Ang tanong ng nakararami – paano at saan ginastos ang budget na nakalaan sa pagsasaayos at pagpapagawa ng mga airports? We have fought hard for the budget and we want to make sure its benefits trickle down to the people.”

Poe also sought an update on the rehabilitation of the Iloilo airport, which received a P190-million funding from the 2024 national budget.