WHAT lies ahead of Clark International Airport Corp. (Ciac) now that the Clark airport is already under the operations and management of the Luzon International Premiere Airport Development Corp. (Lipad)?

According to a good friend working still for Ciac, those affected by the privatization of the O&M are 215 employees. There were 110 employees still working under Ciac. The big question now is what will be the function of Ciac now that it does not have an airport anymore? Remember that Ciac's mandate and existence is basically to run the airport. But with this new development, somebody has yet to tell us what will happen to Ciac.

Will the state-owned corporation be abolished in due time? And if the answer is yes, then what will happen to the 110 employees not affected by the privatization?

Or is it possible that Ciac will still manage the land properties within the aviation complex and will still oversee the lease and operations of locators within Clark Airport grounds. For example, you have the private hangars, restaurants, catering companies, the airline hubs, etc. Hopefully, there would be anything left for Ciac to work on or else, it will be totally erased for lack of use.

My friend's concern is truly alarming because they were not part of the operations and management under Lipad. So they will be on status quo with Ciac. He fears for their security of tenure as well because once Ciac is abolished, they will have no choice but to look for other jobs.

Lipad, the new company now running the Clark airport, is a consortium composed of Changi Airports Philippines Pte. Ltd., Filinvest Development Corp., JG Summit Holdings Inc. and the Philippine Airport Ground Support Solutions Inc.

Out of the 215 employees, 176 accepted job offers from Lipad, while the remaining number accepted the offer for early retirement package.

It would be the best time now for Department of Transportation Sec. Art Tugade and BCDA Chair Vince Dizon to give a clear-cut direction for Ciac. One thing they need to do is to make sure that there is no duplication of functions with Ciac and Lipad. But whatever they decide, the most important thing is for them to realize that there are still 110 employees under Ciac

who need to be taken care of.


On a different note, I am both excited and very interested on a recent news that a second planet has been discovered circling Beta Pictoris.

Beta Pictoris is a young star in our galaxy that belongs to the southern constellation of Pictor or The Painter's Easel. As compared to our sun which is 4.5 billion years old, Beta Pictoris is only 23 million years old.

Anne-Marie Lagrange, an astronomer at France's National Centre for Scientific Research, announced that a giant planet about 3,000 times more massive than Earth was detected. This is the second planet they discovered revolving around Beta Pictoris. She said the new planet, b Pictoris c, completes its orbit roughly every 1,200 days.

This story supports the theory that our universe is still expanding and there are a lot of things that scientists and astronomers have yet to understand how our universe works. Every time I catch a story like this, even when watching National Geographic, I cannot help but wonder and be amazed of our wonderful universe.