Senator Grace Poe on Wednesday, May 3, faulted the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) for the power outage problems at the country’s major gateway.
Poe issued the statement following reports that the MIAA is asking for a P1-billion budget for the purchase of power generators that would supply electricity in four NAIA terminals.
The chairwoman of the Senate public services committee pointed out that the extra P1-billion necessary to provide back up power could be subsidized through the national budget’s unprogrammed funds or even through the revolving funds from airport operations.
"The question is, if they knew that the existing backup power can only support 30 percent of the terminals power requirement, why did they not propose to procure back up generators during our budget hearings last year?" she asked.
"Clearly, they have been remiss in their duties, by not proposing an upgraded back up system,’’ she said.
"There was a full electrical audit conducted in 2017? We would like to know, what were the recommendations? Why did past and present NAIA administrations fail to comply with the recommended upgrades,’’ she added.
Meanwhile, Sen. Sonny Angara, chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, said the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) should include in next year's budget MIAA's request for P1-billion.
Angara said the amount should be included when the DBM submits the National Expenditure Program (NEP) to Congress after President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.'s State of the Nation Address (SONA).
Asked if the Executive department can submit a supplemental budget to Congress, Angara said this is "one possibility" but this is dependent on the availability of funds.
"The use of savings is another possibility," he added.