Bautista confirms Marcos gov’t plans to privatize NAIA operations

Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Jaime Bautista on Thursday, January 12, disclosed that the administration of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has plans to privatize the operations of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

Bautista made the disclosure during the Senate Committee on Public Services’ hearing on the system glitch that hit the airport during New Year’s Day.

“We confirm that this government is planning to privatize the operations of the Manila International Airport,” Bautista said during the hearing.

“We are open to a solicited or unsolicited proposal, although we prefer a solicited proposal,” he stressed.

He also said the government is now working with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Public Private Partnership (PPP) Center to finalize the terms of reference.

According to Bautista, they are expecting that finish this by the end of the first quarter of 2023. The government is also working to expedite NAIA’s privatization.

During the same hearing, Sen. Nancy Binay, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Tourism, expressed hope that the issues hounding NAIA would be resolved at the soonest time possible.

Binay pointed out the country is targeting to attract international visitors this year and is slated to host international events such as the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 along with other major trade shows and conferences.

“We are not here to blame anyone. What is important is to immediately identify the problem, and how far this has spread, and do our best to resolve them, and ensure that they do not occur again,” Binay said.

“We cannot afford to drag our feet, especially when we are starting to gain some headway towards recovery,” she added.