TWG chairman Rep. Rene Relampagos spearheaded the discussion of the bill, principally authored by Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, with lawmakers and representatives from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, Civil Aeronautics Board, Department of Foreign Affairs, Export Development Council, Manila International Airport Authority, Clark International Airport Corporation, Subic Bay Metropolitan Department Airport Department, Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Governance Commission for Government-owned and controlled corporations and Aboitiz Equity Ventures.
The planned devolution aims to delegate the operating powers of the CAAP as well as abolish the authorities managing international airports, namely the MIAA, CIAC, SBMA Airport Department, and the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA).
This will allow CAAP to reinforce its primary mandate and focus on regulatory functions based on Republic Act 9497 and prevent conflict of interest as it currently regulates and operates airports.
The attendees unanimously supported the establishment of PADC.
“We welcome this House bill, creating an airport development corporation, because it will streamline and strengthen the airport operations in the Philippines. In so doing, CAAP would be able to concentrate on its primary mandate, which is the regulation of the aviation industry. We actually appreciate the efforts of the members of Congress, which is always mindful of the need to improve the aviation sector,” said CAAP Air Traffic Controller Chief Marlene Singson.
Likewise, lawyer Rhea Joy Gonzalez of CAB stated willingness to cooperate as the bill will ensure the efficiency of airports.
Cebu Pacific VP for Corporate Affairs lawyer Paterno Mantaring agreed that the bill will be beneficial to the airline industry.
DFA Director Edgar Tomas Auxilian said improving the existing air transport services is also a way of promoting the Philippines.
The TWG fine tuned the language and essence of some provisions of the bill to avoid potential confusion and ambiguities. Members of the group also sought to ensure that the PADC serves its purpose of upgrading, operating, and maintaining existing and still to be developed airports.
They also reached an accord to adopt Sections 6 and 8 of HB 6327 or the “Philippine Airports Management Authority Act” authored by Rep. Johnny Pimentel on Police Authority and the Board of Directors, respectively.
The TWG and CAAP, in consultation with GCG, will formulate a section on transitory provision that will establish a body to oversee the transition period and the transfer of properties, among others.
Other authors of the bill are Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas, Minority Leader Danilo Suarez, Transportation Committee chairman Rep. Cesar Sarmiento, and Rep. Aurelio Gonzales, Jr.