By Emmie V. Abadilla
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) yesterday imposed immediate “rental holidays” and deferred payment of rental charges for airport concessionaires.
Such moves are now needed to cushion the economic impact of COVID-19 on the country’s aviation industry and its stakeholders, according to DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade.
The Transport Secretary in¬structed the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) and the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) to extend “rental holidays” to airport concessionaires for one month and defer rental charges on the succeeding month to cover the enhanced community quarantine period, with further extensions if required, subject to regu¬lar monthly review.
The “rental holiday” and the deferral of payment of rental charges for airport concessionaires take effect immediately, he reiterated.
In addition, the DOTr is mapping out contingency measures for the country’s aviation sector under the ongoing enhanced community quarantine being in Luzon to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We need to be prepared for any possible scenario and to employ all possible countermeasures including drastic and extreme ones,” according to Secretary Tugade.
“We remain committed to the government’s effort to protect our country and the health of its citizens against this deadly coronavirus.”
The DOTr, together with the Civil Aeronautics Board ( CAB), CAAP and MIAA, also mapped out plans and did a scenario analysis in the worst-case situations such as stoppage of airline operations and closure of airports.