ONCE in a while, we get brickbats from Filipinos based overseas but the recent ideas threshed out by a certain Architect Ben Lao are points to ponder although I may not agree with some of his contentions.
THE Monetary Board of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has finally given the green light for the P1-billion expansion of the Clark International Airport’s existing terminal, now a beehive of commercial flight activities a far cry from the post-Pinatubo era when the area was left to the mercy of the elements.
The Land Bank of the Philippines will finance the Clark airport’s expansion, which we had been expecting since last year.
THE CLARK International Airport is joining the big league in the aviation industry.
This, amid the announcement of Emirates Airlines that it will finally launch daily flights between the desert oasis of Dubai and Clark airport, something that most Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) had been anticipating in the past. And according to my friend Arlan Naeg, who is now with Emirates Airlines in Seattle, US, wherever Emirates Airlines spread its wings other Middle Eastern Airlines such as Qatar Airlines and Etihad will surely follow.
EVERYTHING had been turning up rosy for the aviation industry in the country with the recent lifting of the Significant Safety Concerns (SSC) issued in 2007 by the International Civil Aviation Organization, the removal of the 3% Common Carriers Tax and the 2.5 percent Gross Philippines Billings Tax and the announcement of Emirates Airlines that it will launch the Dubai-Clark-Dubai flights on October 1.
THE highly restrictive tax regime was the single biggest stumbling block that drove away the KLM, the last European carrier to leave the country, and prompted other foreign carriers to steer away from the Philippines further stalling efforts to improve the aviation and tourism industry.
The three-percent common carriers tax (CCT) and the 2.5-percent gross Philippine billings tax imposed on foreign carriers did it – pushed the aviation industry into the dustbin of neglect. While foreign carriers avoid the Philippines as a route, the Federal Aviation Authority also downgraded the category rating of our airports to Category 2.
THE entry of Dennis Pineda in the vice gubernatorial race in Pampanga province has inadvertently brought forth the issue of political dynasty, something that the Pineda family abhors because as the young Pineda said, he is after public service and not for the privilege appended to it.
AS AN Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) before in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for three years, I observed that Filipino workers who are leaving for vacation to the Philippines abhor flying via Saudia Airlines because they do not serve alcoholic drinks aboard and sanitize the alleged excesses of the West in their newspapers and movies.
The apparent inflight restrictions compelled me like other OFWs to fly via Singapore Airlines which are sparkling clean and of course they serve alcoholic drinks. I remember a flight from Jeddah to Singapore where I consumed Black Label like a freeman would do. Remember, I’d been to the Kingdom and each time that I go home was like a parole from maximum prison.
ON OUR way to school one morning, I was surprised to see my eight-year old son Adrian Elijah listening to Led Zeppelin’s “Heartbreaker,” enjoying Jimmy Page’s riffling chords courtesy of the iconic Les Paul electric guitar. He then shifted to the No. 15 song in my old Led Zeppelin Remasters which is “Stairway to Heaven” and then looked for “Rock and Roll.” Hey, this kid rocks.
ON OUR way to school one morning, I was surprised to see my eight-year-old son Adrian Elijah listening to Led Zeppelin's "Heartbreaker", enjoying Jimmy Page's riffling chords courtesy of the iconic Les Paul electric guitar. He then shifted to the No. 15 song in my old Led Zeppelin Remasters which is "Stairway to Heaven" and then looked for "Rock and Roll." Hey, this kid rocks.
FORMER ambassador to Greece and columnist Rigoberto Tiglao, a known supporter of Rep. Gloria Arroyo of Pampanga's 3rd District, had been saying that there had been an apparent great disconnect between the 6.6 percent economic growth announced by the Aquino government and the amount of foreign direct investments (FDI) that entered the country.