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Gov’t to continue operating NAIA-3

MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang reassured airline operators using the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 that the government would continue to operate the facility despite a court ruling stopping the government from taking over the NAIA-3.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. told state-run radio dzRB that “legal issues should not alarm us because the government would maintain the stable operations of the airport.”

The government acknowledges that operation of NAIA-3 is important and vital to the local economy, especially since the Aquino administration is focused on attracting more tourists and foreign investors in the country.

Coloma said the Office of the Solicitor General and Government Corporate Counsel had already been tasked to address the issue.

He also allayed fears expressed by members of the Airline Operators Council on who will manage NAIA-3 following the Court of Appeals ruling seeking $371.43 million compensation to Philippine International Air Terminals Co. Inc. (Piatco).

The appellate court stated that government should not exercise full ownership of NAIA-3 unless it releases the amount from escrow as just compensation to Piatco, which developed the facility.

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The CA struck down the mode of just compensation payment for Piatco earlier set by the Pasay City regional trial court.

The CA granted the petition of Piatco and held that the Pasay court committed an error in issuing the orders pursuant to its May 23, 2011 ruling that ordered the government to pay the developer net just compensation amounting to $116,348,641.10.

Airline firms are in a quandary on who will exercise supervision over NAIA-3 operations.

The airline operators are asking if NAIA-3 would still be under the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) of the Department of Transportation and Communications or Piatco that claimed that the private firm is ready to operate the airport terminal.

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