WITH the ascension into the White House of Donald Trump as president of the United States, economic experts worldwide are of the opinion that neo-liberalism is now dying if not dead but Philippine transportation authorities seems to be oblivious of this earth shaking development as they still work within the framework of the said system and continue the privatization of the country’s airports nationwide.
Fearing that even the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, the country’s premier airport, will be also be privatized, members of the Samahang Manggagawa ng Paliparan Sa Pilipinas (SMPP), an organization of concerned airport workers, on Wednesday staged a protest action at the foot of the historic Mendiola Bridge in Manila where they raised their concern.
SMPP President Fering Lopez said the NAIA might soon be joining the Bacolod-Silay Airport, Iloilo International Airport, Davao International Airport, New Bohol (Panglao) Airport and the Laguindingan Airport in the government’s privatization scheme because there was an earlier proposal to invite interested bidders to bid for NAIA’s operations and maintenance projects.
Although it lauded the move of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to seek the improvement of services at the respective key regional airports through the private sector, the NAIA workers said they are worried about the fate of their fellow employees.
Lopez said NAIA employees fear that the government might privatize the airport for good. He added the NAIA has over 1,000 organic employees and 5,200 contracted manpower, including those job-order personnel such as the building attendants.
Last December, the Ayala Group has publicly announced that they are interested in the bidding for the development project of the NAIA if the national government would issue invitation to pre-qualify and bid.
But the MIAA denied that it is planning to privatize the NAIA terminals.