MANILA, Philippines — The government, led by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., is planning to privatize the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) operations.

Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista said this on Thursday during the Senate committee on public services’ hearing on the air traffic fiasco on New Year’s Day.

“We confirm that this government is planning to privatize the operations of Manila International Airport. We are open to a solicited or unsolicited proposal, although we prefer to have a solicited proposal,” Bautista said.

“The government now is working with the ADB [Asian Development Bank] and the PPP (Public-Private Partnership) Center for the finalization of the terms of reference. We’re expecting that we should be able to have this by the end of first quarter of 2023, and we will be able to accept proposals from interested parties,” he added.

Bautista said that the government will work to expedite the privatization of NAIA as it is the gateway to the Philippines.

“Right now, it’s the only major airport in Metro Manila. It has reached its rated capacity. It even exceeded its rated capacity that is why we need to improve and modernize NAIA,” he said.

On December 30 last year, Bautista announced that the Marcos administration is pushing for Naia’s privatization.

Two days later, the air traffic turmoil happened.

Based on earlier reports, a power outage downed the air navigation system of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines on January 1.

The system failure affected at least 65,000 passengers.

For Act Teachers Rep. France Castro, the timing of the technical glitch “is quite fishy.”

By: Daniza Fernandez – Reporter / / 07:11 PM January 12, 2023