The Joint Foreign Chambers (JFC) and industry groups are backing the creation of the Philippine Airports Authority (PAA) and are urging the Senate to hold hearings on House Bill 7976 creating the said agency.
The JFC and industry groups hope the measure creating PAA will be approved within the year.
The bill stipulates the need to improve or upgrade existing international and domestic airports and air navigation-related facilities in the Philippines, and to make the facilities comply with international standards and contribute to the development of the tourism industry and business travel.
The groups also proposed the transfer of powers of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Board to the PAA.
“Due to the worsening state of aviation and allied industries in the country – as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic – it is very timely that a law creating a Philippine Airports Authority be enacted to assist the industry to recover when the pandemic ends,” the groups said.
The joint statement was issued by the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Australian-New Zealand Commerce of the Philippines, Canadian Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Philippines, Korean Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Philippine Association of Multinational Companies Regional Headquarters, Inc., and the Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines, Inc.
At present, it is the Department of Transportation (DOTr) that spearheads the development and maintenace of the country’s airport network. Meanwhile, the Philippines Ports Authority (PPA) under the DOTr is in charge of developin the country’s seaports.
BY MEYNARD DELA CERNA