THE mayor of Lapu-Lapu City, which hosts the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, has expressed interest in sitting on the board of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA).
However, an MCIAA official said no seat is available.
For the mayor to get a seat, the law would have to be amended to change the composition of the MCIAA board of directors.
This was what Julius Neri Jr., MCIAA general manager and chief executive officer, told SunStar Cebu Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023, a day after Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia expressed support for Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan’s bid for a seat in the MCIAA Board.
“The MCIAA board cannot be changed without amending the law,” he said, referring to Republic Act (RA) 6958, or the “Charter of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority.”
The mayor and his wife, Lapu-Lapu City Lone District Rep. Ma. Cynthia “Cindi” King-Chan, had sought the assistance of the governor, a member of the MCIAA Board, at the Capitol on Wednesday.
Just like Garcia, Neri said it is only fair to include the mayor in the airport’s policy-making body since the airport is located in his jurisdiction.
“Personally, I’m really okay with that because the airport is in Lapu-Lapu. It will give easier coordination with the local government unit and the Authority because the mayor will now be there,” he said.
The governor said she would take up Chan’s request with the board of directors on their next board meeting in February.
Neri said the MCIAA Board holds its monthly meeting on the fourth week of the month.
“I agree to amending the law. I have no problem with that, but I wonder what the board can do. Whatever the governor wants, I’m fine with it,” Neri said.
Neri said the congresswoman has filed a bill amending Section 6 of RA 6958.
Section 6 states that “the corporate powers of the Authority shall be exercised by and vested in a Board of 11 members, which shall be composed of a chairman, a vice-chairman and nine members. The Secretary of Transportation and Communications and the General Manager of the Authority shall be the ex-officio chairman and vice chairman of the Board, respectively. The Assistant Secretary of the Air Transportation Office and the Secretaries of the following executive departments or any Undersecretary or Assistant Secretary designated by the respective Secretaries shall be ex-officio members, to wit: the Department of Finance, the Department of Justice and the Department of Tourism. In addition, four members recommended by the governor of the Province of Cebu shall be appointed by the President of the Philippines for a term of four years from the private sector. The governor of the Province of Cebu or his duly authorized representative shall be the ninth member.”
Lapu-Lapu City has sought a seat in the MCIAA Board since it became highly urbanized and freed from the Province of Cebu’s administrative supervision in 2007.
Rep. Pablo John Garcia filed bills in 2007 and 2010 to include the city in the MCIAA Board.
Filing their own bills for a similar purpose in 2010 were then Lapu-Lapu lone district representative Arturo Radaza and Cebu City north district representative Rachel Marguerite “Cutie” del Mar.
In 2016 and 2022, then Lapu-Lapu City Lone District representative Aileen Radaza and current Lapu-Lapu City representative King-Chan, respectively, similarly filed bills to give Lapu-Lapu City representation on the board.
Mayor Chan, in his social media post Wednesday, said having a seat on the MCIAA board would enable the quick creation of laws and actions that can provide solutions to the problems or important concerns of the international airport.
Neri said the MCIAA board is currently composed of 11 members, including him, four private sector representatives, the governor, as well as representatives from the Department of Transportation, Department of Justice, and Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines.
The four private sector representatives are lawyer Annabel Pulvera-Page from the Oriental Port and Allied Services Corp.; lawyer Deolito Alvarez, practicing lawyer; Ramon Clavano from Clavano Printers; and PMGen. Emmanuel Luis D. Licup (Ret).
Neri said they were holdovers or appointed during the administration of then President Rodrigo Duterte.
Congress created the MCIAA on July 31, 1990 under RA 6958 to “undertake the economical, efficient and effective control, management and supervision of the Mactan International Airport in the Province of Cebu,” the country’s second busiest airport. (MKG, CTL)
February 02, 2023
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