CEBU CITY – The name Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) will stay, Cebu 3rd District Rep. Pablo John Garcia clarified on Thursday, even after Congress approved a bill seeking to rename the country’s second busiest airport.
House Bill 8986, which was approved on third reading before Congress went on recess last month, seeks to rename the airport to Lapulapu International Airport.
In a statement issued to the media on Thursday, Garcia clarified that the proposed measure will only apply to the airport’s two terminals, and not to the entire property.
“The bill merely seeks to name the domestic and international terminals of the airport to Lapulapu Domestic Terminal and Lapulapu International Terminal, while retaining the name Mactan-Cebu International Airport for the entire facility itself,” he said.
Garcia explained the proposal replicates the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) model, in which its major terminal was named Tom Bradley International Terminal.
“The airport itself, which includes the land area, runway, towers, and other facilities will remain to be known as the Mactan-Cebu International Airport. The terminal building, which is part of the airport, will be renamed the Lapulapu Domestic and International Terminals,” he noted.
Garcia said it is a “substitute bill” developed after House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco and Committee on Transportation chairperson Rep. Edgar Sarmiento decided to formulate a compromise between lawmakers who pushed for renaming MCIA and those who opposed it.
“This substitute bill accommodates our objections to the bill while fulfilling the more important objective of honoring Lapulapu on the 500th year of the Battle of Mactan,” he explained.
To recall, Garcia openly opposed renaming the entire airport in honor of Datu Lapulapu, the bill authored and lobbied by Lapu-Lapu City Rep. Paz Radaza.
Other lawmakers who penned similar proposals were the late Cebu City-North District Rep. Raul del Mar and Parañaque 1st District Rep. Eric Olivarez.
Garcia said renaming the airport disregards not only decades of history, but also millions of pesos in marketing expenses to sell the airport as MCIA. (PNA)