CLARK FREEPORT Pampanga 1st District Rep. Joseller “Yeng” Guiao clarified yesterday that his pending bill Cory name in Clark airport won’t dislodge Macapagal tag for passenger terminal Airport Authority (CAIAA) here will not affect the name Diosdado Macapagal with reference to the passenger terminal.
In an interview with Punto, Guiao said CAIAA would refer to the entire aviation complex covering some 2,400 hectares now under the management of the state owned Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC).
During the term of detained former Pres. Arroyo, the entire aviation complex used to be referred to as the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) after her late father, the country’s first Capampangan president.
Early in the current Aquino administration, however, CIAC officials clarified that the aviation complex was rightly referred to as Clark International Airport (CIA), while the name Diosdado Macapagal referred only to the passenger terminal.
Guiao said House Bill 321, titled “Conversion of CIAC into an Authority,” which he filed in July last year is now being “fine tuned” by a technical working group established by the House committees on transportation and on government enterprises and privatization before being tackled in plenary session for first reading.
The proposal to convert CIAC into an authority is coupled with the change of name of the aviation complex from
CIA to CAIAA. “The conversion of CIAC into an authority would shield the body from politics. What I want is that the top executives of the authority managing the aviation complex, including the terminal, would have a fixed term of five to six years, subject to only one reappointment,” he said.
Multi-sectoral groups have backed such proposal also for the stateowned Clark Development Corp. (CDC) which manages the other 2,400 hectares of this freeport, which has had “too many” presidents and chief executive officers since it was founded in 1992, thus disrupting programs and projects already laid out, he noted, Guiao said he also expected his other bill seeking to convert CDC into Clark Development Authority (CDA) to be tackled in the House.
He said that renaming the aviation complex after former Pres. Cory Aquino “has its own justification apart from naming the Manila airport after her late husband, the late Sen. Benigno ‘Ninoy’ Aquino.” “She did a lot for Pampanga during her term, and she planted the seeds that finally established Clark as an economic zone during succeeding term of former Pres. Ramos whose presidential candidacy she supported,” Guiao noted.
Already, the proposal has elicited a lot of reactions from netizens, including one who remarked that renaming the airport here would give the country the distinction of having two married airports, referring to CAIAA and NAIA.
“The proposal for CAIAA would have the template of the NAIA and the Mactan International Airport, but would also be adapted after the peculiar situations in Central Luzon and other northern regions,” he said.
He noted similar proposals to establish authorities to manage the Kalibo and Davao international airports also adapting NAIA templates but with provisions adapted to local needs. “In the case of Clark, the members of the authority board should include the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) which owns Clark lands,” he said.
Guiao also said that it’s up to the House technical working group to propose details on whether current CIAC officials should be retained under an authority, but he expressed preference for retaining some current executives. “Those who have to go must, however, be assured of proper benefits,” he added.
Guiao said the matter of naming a new lowcost carrier terminal, to cost P7.2 billion and expected to be finished within the President’s term, was not covered by his bill. “That belongs to the future to settle,” he said.
In 1994, former Pres. Ramos issued an executive order declaring Clark as the “future site of the country’s premiere international gateway.”