Rehab for Naia questioned-A A +A
Thursday, November 10, 2011
ANGELES CITY — A known development advocate in Central Luzon has questioned the P1-billion rehabilitation budget for the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) in Manila.
“What happened to the promise of developing Clark Airport (Diosdado Macapagal International Airport) into a premiere airport?” Ruperto Cruz, chairman of the Pinoy Gumising Ka Movement, asked.
The rehabilitation budget for the Naia was the decision of Department of Transportation and Communications Secretary Mar Roxas.
Roxas reportedly held consultations with top officials of the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine bureaus, and Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) executives to discuss the Naia rehabilitation efforts.
Earlier, Roxas expressed his interest in developing Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) as the country’s next premiere airport.
“It’s a 180-degree turn-around and an exercise in futility. I thought he said Naia has reached its saturation point so we need to find a better airport that could attract more investors and tourists? What is the need to develop or rehabilitate something that is already rotten?” Cruz asked.
Aside from wasting money, Cruz said Secretary Roxas has broken his promise to the people, especially Kapampangans, of sitting near to a premiere airport. He added that around 25 million people in North and Central Luzon are all in favor of traveling via the Clark Airport.
“It seemed like a political gimmick to win the votes of people from these regions in the next elections. He is becoming one of the politicians who promised to develop Clark airport but did not deliver,” Cruz said.
Cruz said past Presidents Ferdinand Marcos, Joseph Estrada and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo vowed to develop the airport in Clark but they all failed.
Clark airport sits on a 2,500-hectare, flood-free area, while Naia is around 600 hectares and is prone to flooding, Cruz added. (Charlene Cayabyab)
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on November 11, 2011.