airports in the Philippines

House panel OKs bill giving Lapu-Lapu mayor seat in Cebu airport board

John Sitchon

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House panel OKs bill giving Lapu-Lapu mayor seat in Cebu airport board

BUSY AIRPORT. In 2022, the Mactan-Cebu International Airport handled over 100,000 domestic and international flights.

Photo from Mactan Cebu International Airport

A seat on the MCIAA board will enable the city government to aid the airport authority better during emergencies, says Lapu-Lapu's congresswoman

MCIA. In 2022, the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) handled over 100,000 domestic and international flights. (Photo from the MCIA)

CEBU, Philippines – The House of Representatives committee on government enterprises and privatization on Tuesday, February 7, passed a bill seeking to give the mayor of Lapu-Lapu a seat in the board of directors of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA).

House Bill No. 3960, which seeks to amend the charter of the MCIAA, was filed by Lapu-Lapu City Lone District Representative Cynthia King-Chan, wife of the current city mayor. 

“This long overdue amendment to the MCIAA charter is crucial in ensuring the alignment of the programs and plans of the MCIAA with the city and vice versa,” Chan said during her sponsorship speech in August 2022.

Chan stressed that a seat on the MCIAA board would help the city government aid the airport authority better during airport-related incidents.

The international airport is geographically within the jurisdiction of the Lapu-Lapu City government.

In a Facebook post, Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard Chan said that representation in the MCIAA would also help the city “to craft laws and actions that would give solution to problems and important concerns of the international airport.”

This is the fourth time that Lapu-Lapu City sought a position in the MCIAA board. 

The first and second times were in 2007 and 2010, with similar bills filed by then-congressman Pablo John Garcia. The third was in 2016, when a similar bill was filed by then-Lapu-Lapu representative Aileen Radaza.

Who are the current MCIAA board directors?

Under Section 6 of RA 6958, the board has 11 seats: a chairman, a vice chairman, and nine members. Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista and Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco are the current chairman and vice chairman, respectively.

“In addition, four (4) members recommended by the governor of the Province of Cebu shall be appointed by the President of the Philippines for a term of four (4) years from the private sector,” reads Section 6.

Those four members from the private sector are lawyer Deolito Alvarez, lawyer Annabel Pulvera-Page, retired police major general Emmanuel Luis Licup, and businessman Ramon Clavano.

According to Chan, the proposed amendments seeks to: 

  • Retain the number of members from the private sector recommended by the governor of the province of Cebu.
  • Omit the inclusion of a member from the private sector recommended by the mayor of Lapu-Lapu City
  • Include instead the mayor of Lapu-Lapu as an ex-officio member.
What happened after the Korean plane crash 

On October 23, 2022, a Korean Air flight crashed near the runway of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport. 

Chan said this incident would be a “reminder” of the urgency of including the Lapu-Lapu city government on the MCIAA board of directors.

After the incident, multiple flights, both domestic and international were canceled until the plane was cleared off the runway. Full operations at the MCIAA only resumed five days later, on October 28, 2022.

The congresswoman cited the Lapu-Lapu city government’s efforts to assist the international airport in dealing with the aftermath of the plane crash.

The MCIAA is considered one of the busiest airports in the country, next to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). For the year 2022, it handled a total of 48,470 domestic flights and 54,997 international flights. – Rappler.com

John Sitchon is a recipient of the Journalism for Nation Building Foundation’s Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship 2023.

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