DOTr and CAAP should tell us about NAIA

SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila - The Philippine Star

First off, I would like to congratulate my TV crew and staff in MyTV which I have been managing since eight years ago for winning “Best TV Plug/Public Service Announcement” in the recently concluded Cebu 19th Archdiocesan Mass Media Awards (CAMMA) held at the SM Seaside City Mountain Wing last Sunday. This was a feature we did called, “My Cebu Heritage: Colon Street”. We are a cable TV channel linked with SkyCable Cebu on channel 30 and  we are also shown in the Parasat Networks in Cagayan de Oro on Channel 28 and most of Northern Mindanao.

MyTV has numerous talk shows, like Erik Espina’s “Republika”, “Full Point”, a sporting show by Nimrod Quinones, “My Side of Town” by Dante Javelosa Luzon, a culinary show entitled, “Anyone can cook” with Kate Dychangco Anzani, “My Law” with Atty. Bingo Gonzales, and Atty. Jonathan Capanas, my own 19th year old, “Straight from the Sky” and my other show with Fr. Lucas Inco entitled My Catechism. And My Health with Dr. Steven Seno and My Happenings of major activities in Cebu.

We also do the weekly 888 News Forum every Tuesday on the instance of our good friend, Robert “Bobby” Joseph and a show on Politics by Art Barrit, a magazine show called “Tribes” by Rachel Arandilla and “Signatures” by Dexter Alazas. The only thing we do not do is news as there is so much news with the current media groups. Also we have the best TV equipment that money can buy and that’s because our owners who run the International Marketing Group (IMG) and Kaiser Health Group through Dr. Joen delas Peñas, Bart Borja and Noel Arandilla want only the best shows for our audience.

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We all know that by now the Department of Transportation (DOTr) has formally awarded the P734 billion Bulacan International Airport project to San Miguel Holdings Corp (SMHC) in a 2,500-hectare facility. Under the Notice of Award (NOA) given to SMHC, the company will finance, design, construct, supply, complete, test, commission, operate, and maintain the new international gateway. With this project, San Miguel is required to submit the necessary documents to the DOTr special bids and awards committee within 20 days after receipt of the NOA. The Bulacan airport is expected to help decongest the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and construction is expected to begin at the end of this year.

At this point, we need to know from the DOTr what is their official stand on the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). We have seen the proposed schematic drawings of the Bulacan Airport from the social media network and it is a huge one and if it is done all within four years, there will have four major runways, which are parallel to each other and therefore, depending on who would manage this airport facility, we expect a new beginning for civil aviation in Metro Manila.

At this point, it is high time for the DOTr or the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) to establish a timeline on what people should expect would happen to the NAIA Airport. Come on, I really don’t relish hearing from DOTr officials that the Bulacan International Airport would decongest the present NAIA Airport. I dare say that if the Bulacan International Airport would follow its proposed terminal project and operate this airport, it would not only decongest NAIA, it would literally turn the NAIA into a ghost town!

Of course, I’m not saying that this would happen overnight. But when you have a brand new airport facility only 50 kilometers north of Metro Manila, it would certainly be of great use to airline companies that have grown sick and tired of what they have been doing in NAIA at this time. Sure, DOTr or CAAP may turn the NAIA only into a domestic airport, but then it is not wise to separate the domestic terminal from the international terminal. So what we need to know is what is the timeline that DOTr or CAAP has for NAIA and I guess for Clark Airport facility?

To be totally frank about it NAIA can easily be turned into a major business and investment opportunity just like the stunning economic growth that we saw in the Bonifacio Global City (BGC) that was created by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) under Republic Act7227. Of course, the major mistake in that development was that the BCDA sold this property and now it is totally owned by private companies.

I would rather have an organization that would give a long-term lease to NAIA for as long as in the end of the terms of lease, it is still owned by the government. So at this point while construction is yet to start, I dare the DOTr and CAAP to show us transparency and tell us what would happen to NAIA and Clark after the Bulacan International Airport is done?

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Email: vsbobita@mozcom.com or vsbobita@gmail.com.

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