Foreign investors group backs Naia privatization
MANILA -Another trade group is backing measures to privatize Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia), adding to the growing call to hand over the control and management of the country’s main air gateway to the private sector.
The Foreign Buyers Association of the Philippines (Fobap) told the Inquirer on Friday the recent string of airport fiascos was causing some hesitation among foreign clients to transact with local exporters, making the Philippines miss out on potential export opportunities worth millions of dollars.
“No amount of the best [tourism] slogans can make up or cover up the incompetence and horrific state of our airports, which is causing foreign buyers to skip our country,” Fobap president Robert Young said in a statement.
Young—whose trade group exports about $1.5 billion worth of garments, as well as $300 million worth of hard goods annually—said the privatization efforts should focus on expanding and updating the airport’s infrastructure to make it world-class.
The Fobap official added that privatization should ensure that it would be placed under competent management, saying there was a failure with incumbent authorities.
Further commercialization of Naia is also an area that must be addressed, according to Young.
Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista recently came under fire following the New Year power outage at Naia, which led to the cancellation, delay or diversion of more than 300 flights which stranded 65,000 people.
Two more power outages crippled the airport on May 1 and June 9.
The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the country’s largest business organization, as well as the Management Association of the Philippines also called for privatizing the ailing airport. INQ