By Charissa Luci-Atienza
The House Committee on Transportation approved on Wednesday bills renaming Clark International Airport as Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in honor of the first Kapampangan President.
The panel, chaired by Catanduanes Rep. Cesar Sarmiento passed House Bills 2274 and 8289, authored by Pampanga Rep. Aurelio Gonzales Jr.; and 1-SAGIP partylist Rep. Rodante Marcoleta, Majority Leader and Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr., Bohol Rep. Arthur Yap and Pampanga Rep. Carmelo “Jon” Lazatin II, respectively.
“This was already done before in 2001 by the Board of Directors of the Clark Development Corporation, However, the Board decided in 2011 to revert back to the old name,” Sarmiento said.
He cited that the bill has the support of the provincial government of Pampanga and the Pampagueños.
“The measure will institutionalise the old name of the airport in honor of the former President and his accomplishments and contributions to the country,” Sarmiento said.
It was AKO BICOL partylist Rep. Rodel Batocabe who moved for the approval of the bills.
“It is but fitting that the international airport be named after the most illustrious son of the province where it is situated,” he said.
In 2001, the Board of Directors of the Clark Development Corporation, through its Resolution No. 07-08, Series of 2001, changed the name of the Clark International Airport to Diosdado Macapagal International Airport. However, on October 14, 2011, the Board adopted a resolution reverting back the name of the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport to Clark International Airport.
“Renaming the Clark International Airport as the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport is also in keeping with the revised guidelines of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines on the naming and renaming of public structures which provides that the proposed names for public structures must have historical and cultural significance and must contribute to the positive development of national pride,” the authors said.
“Stressing the primacy of this airport in terms of aviation as well as in the international air transportation community, it is but fitting and proper that it shall be named in honor of former President Diosdado Macapagal, a Filipino with a sterling legacy and incomparable distinction as a respected leader, champion of the poor, true statesman, and a nationalist of unquestionable integrity,” they said.
Macapagal, father of Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, was the ninth President of the Philippines.