Senator opposes Manila airport sale plan 

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Passengers crowd the departure lobby inside the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 in Pasay City, Jan. 1. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

SENATOR Joseph Victor G. Ejercito has opposed a plan to privatize the Philippines’ main international airport, saying public utility that is vital to national security should remain in government hands. 

“What happened 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,” he said in a statement on Wednesday. 

He was referring to the air transport glitch that paralyzed the country’s airports on New Year’s Day. 

Mr. Ejercito said he was open to proposals to put the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) under a public-private partnership, but government oversight should be kept. 

Transportation Secretary Jaime J. Bautista on Tuesday said that the agency was working with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Public-Private Partnership Center for a possible privatization of Manila’s international airport. 

The terms of reference of the proposal should be ready this quarter, he added, noting that the private sector’s management of the airport would improve its service. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan