MANILA, Philippines - Iloilo province’s commercial airport should retain its name, Sen. Franklin Drilon said yesterday.
He said changing the name of the Iloilo Airport would just create confusion among tourists and passengers.
“They will ask, ‘where is that?’ Why do we need to go into that when in fact the name… will precisely help identify the airport as Iloilo?” he said.
Drilon’s reaction came amid proposal from the local government of Cabatuan town to rename the airport as Tomas Confesor Airport, one of the town’s illustrious sons.
Confesor, a leader of the guerilla movement during World War 2, was elected congressman and later senator of the republic in 1946.
Contrary to misconception that the airport straddles the towns of Cabatuan and Sta. Barbara, the airport is located entirely in Cabatuan, which is 19 kilometers northwest of Iloilo City, specifically in Barangays Tabucan, Gaub, Duyan-Duyan and Manguna, officials said.
The airport started its operation on June 14, 2007 after a decade of planning and construction, replacing the Mandurriao Airport in Iloilo City, which had been in service for over 70 years.
It opened its doors for international flights last November 2012.
For Drilon, there are other ways to honor Confesor without changing the airport’s name.
Even Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr. expressed favor in keeping the airport’s present name.
Earlier, reports had it that the National Historical Institute (NHI) also endorsed a resolution of the Dr. Graciano Lopez Jaena Foundation to rename the new airport after hero Graciano Lopez Jaena.
Some sectors also suggested the names Iloilo International Airport and Panay International Airport.