Ejercito opposes privatization of PH’s premier airport

Ejercito opposes privatization of PH’s premier airport

By Liza Soriano

Aerial shot of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport

MANILA — Senator JV Ejercito said that public utility services vital to national security like the Ninoy Aquino International Airport must only be controlled solely by the government and “must not be privatized.”

“I think what opened during the fiasco should be an eye-opener for us. But when we talk about utilities concerning national security, I’m still thinking that it should be under government control,” the senator said.

Ejercito expressed concern that the nation’s primary international entry point, Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), would experience the same fate as the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), a power transmission company that was privatized in 2009.

The State Grid Corporation of China is a stakeholder in about 40 percent of the NGCP.

“We know for a fact that we have a dispute with China. But what happened at the airport, in one instance, can paralyze the whole airspace system. Air traffic froze for several hours. So, with one flick, we can be paralyzed without electricity,” he said.

“We have to know what vessels or aircraft are entering our airspace, especially since we have a dispute right now (with China),” he added.

However, he is open to proposals seeking to place the NAIA under a public-private partnership, and maintaining and enforcing government oversight should be given priority.

(ai/mtvn)

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