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Senator opposes privatizing NAIA.

Senator Risa Hontiveros stated on Sunday that privatizing Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and other airports would not improve the deteriorating state of these infrastructures.

Hontiveros advised that the government concentrate on enhancing management and increasing the responsibility of local airports rather than pressing for the privatization of the airports as suggested by fellow lawmakers.

“Privatization is not the correct prescription for solving the worsening problems of service within our airports,” Hontiveros stated in a news release.

Without management system change, she asserted, operations at NAIA and other regional airports will never improve, regardless of whether the private sector manages them.

After several Senate colleagues raised the subject of privatizing the airport, Hontiveros made the statement.

Juan Miguel Zubiri, president of the Senate, even recommended letting a foreign company manage the troublesome airport.

The opposition leader, however, refuted this assertion and added that hiring foreign companies to run the airport did not ensure better services. Even worse, they can impose additional costs on those who travel.

She asserted that well-maintained airports around the globe, including Doha’s Hamad International Airport, Tokyo’s Haneda International Airport, Korea’s Incheon International Airport, Paris’s Charles de Gaulle Airport, and Istanbul Airport, are all overseen by their respective authorities.

“The government still owns most of the world’s top airports. If the government is really serious about repairing our airports, we can adopt many solid methods in airport operations,” Hontiveros added.

The senator backed the earlier need for a rapid technical system examination of NAIA operations made by House Deputy Speaker Ralph Recto and other authorities so that the government can proactively identify and solve its flaws.

In response to a power outage on May 1 that disrupted flights and impacted about 9,300 passengers, the electrical audit of NAIA Terminal 3 has begun, according to Manila International Airport Authority officer-in-charge Bryan Co, who announced in a statement on Friday.

According to Meralco, the outage was caused by defective wiring or a short circuit, which produced a large power current and fault indicator.

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