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Hontiveros calls for policy, governance review before pursuing NAIA privatization 


A SENATOR on Sunday said the government should not rush into the proposed privatization of the country’s main airport without first reviewing existing policies and governance systems for public transport services.   

“Privatization is not a ‘silver bullet’ to the worsening problems and poor services of our airports,” opposition Senator Ana Theresia “Risa” N. Hontiveros-Baraquel said in a statement.   

Calls to privatize the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila have received support from several lawmakers, especially after the latest power outage on May 1 that affected up to 48 flights and over 9,000 passengers.  

A glitch in the country’s air traffic management system on Jan. 1 paralyzed all airports nationwide and affected over 65,000 passengers.  

“This is an issue of performance and accountability. The services of NAIA will not improve even with the private sector running it if there are no reforms in the supervision of the NAIA and other airports in the country,” she said in Filipino.  

She noted how other privatized and deregulated sectors such as water, power, and rail have become costly for consumers and continue to suffer problems in service delivery.  

“Instead of rushing towards privatization and deregulation, Malacañang, and the Department of Transportation and its attached agencies should work towards ensuring clear lines of accountability and responsibility in relation to airport operations,” Ms. Hontiveros said.  

“We should demand more from our public officials and not encourage further complacency in the bureaucracy by bringing in the private sector every time our public officials are unable or unwilling to do their jobs,” she said. — Beatriz Marie D. Cruz 

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