The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), the country's largest business organization, is calling on government to come up with an airport policy and a masterplan of the aviation sector to address lingering issues of connectivity and congestion, regional development and sustainable growth.
PCCI said the Philippines, though located within four hours flying time from major capitals in the Asia-Pacific region, has been unable to capitalize on its strategic location to become an international gateway.
Its aviation sector, PCCI said, is suffering from problems such as insufficient investments in airport terminals, runways and communications facilities, and lack of facilities that have not only disrupted operations and compromised aviation safety but also limited capacity of major gateways to expand and accommodate more incoming and outgoing aircrafts.
It is also for these reasons that the country continues to lose out on the growing international tourism market to its neighboring countries, PCCI added.
PCCI, which has consistently called on government to come up with a masterplan on transportation and logistics, echoed the call to immediately consider the proposal to adopt a dual-airport policy that will build the New Metro Manila International Airport for Metro Manila and South Luzon, and expand the Clark Airport for Metro Clark and Northern Luzon.
With the administration encouraging dispersal of investments, manufacturing and tourism to the countryside, PCCI asked government to evaluate the proposal for a twin-airport system with adequate long-term capacity.
PCCI said such a strategy will also support the sustained growth of the Metro Manila area while easing urban congestion issues.
With unsolicited proposals coming from the private sector, it would be good for government to ensure that decisions and the bidding process are done with full transparency, PCCI added.
Offering a platform to discuss the viability of the dual airport policy and the best proposal for the development of international airports in the country, PCCI is undertaking a forum titled, “Where Should the New International Airport Be Located?” The forum will be held on March 2, 12:00 noon at the Dusit Hotel.
Confirmed as speaker to outline the plan to make Clark as alternative international airport is Alexander Cauguiran, president and CEO of Clark International Airport. Also invited to speak are Ramon Ang whose San Miguel Corp. has proposed to build the new PhP 699 billion international airport in Bulacan, and Frederick Dybuncio of Belle Corporation, which has partnered with the All-Asia Resources and Reclamation Corp. in the bid to build a PhP 800 billion international airport at the Sangley Point in Cavite.
Invited speakers to give government’s response and inputs are Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia, Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo, Transportation Secretary Art Tugade and Capt. Jim C. Sydiongco of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).