House set to tackle CAB abolition

By Charissa M. Luci-Atienza

The House Committee on Government Enterprises and Privatization and the House Committee on Transportation are set on Monday to jointly deliberate on a bill seeking to abolish the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) and transfer its functions to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).

House Bill (HB) 7407, which is principally authored by Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, makes CAAP the central regulatory agency for both the economic and technical aspect of the country's aviation system.

Co-authors of the bill are Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas, Minority Leader Danilo Suarez and Catanduanes Rep. Cesar Sarmiento.

Alvarez said CAAP should regulate the economic aspect of the air transportation. Currently, each airport in the country acts independently of other airports and is operated and/or managed by a specific entity, Alvarez noted.

“There is no overall regulatory power that sets uniform standards for all airports to follow,” he pointed out in filing HB 7407.

“Moreover, given that airport entities regulate themselves, there is a high risk of conflict of interest arises. After all, the merge of regulator and operator is rife with risks. It is not a sound policy,” Alvarez said.

HB 7407 also provides that a legislative franchise shall be required from entities that operate airports.